The Challenge of Same Sex Provision: How Many Girls Does a Girls' School Need?
Can a girls’ school include a boy and remain a single-sex school? Is there something intrinsic to being a girls’ school that exists separately to pure demographic issues? Does single-sex education, and specifically female single-sex education, have an inherent value that is different to that of mixed sex education? To address these questions, this paper draws on some initial findings from a wider research project on the Future of Legal Gender. Specifically, this paper will consider the implications for single-sex services if legal gender status were to be reformed. Especially, what would the consequences be for reform options which (re)allocate authority to organisations or individuals to determine gender criteria and individual status in terms of eligibility to receive or access services? The article uses the example of single sex schools to consider two key questions regarding potential reforms in this area. Firstly, what aims is gender differentiation currently trying to achieve? And secondly, how do service providers, including secondary education providers, currently engage with challenges to their differentiation criteria?
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