Home Australia So much for equality! The top school’s inclusion campaign backfires when the principal is replaced by, ahem, a BOY!

So much for equality! The top school’s inclusion campaign backfires when the principal is replaced by, ahem, a BOY!

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Concerned about gender: Williamwood is trying to obtain special LGBT status

One of Scotland’s top state schools has sparked an angry backlash after its headteacher was replaced by a boy in what was supposed to be an “inclusion” campaign.

Williamwood High School eliminated its traditional principal and principal positions and replaced them with two gender-neutral ‘captains’ elected by other students.

However, the move backfired after both positions were secured by male candidates, while none of the four girls who ran were chosen.

Landing one of the positions is considered an important moment in a student’s career and can boost college applications and lead to other openings, such as public speaking opportunities.

Parents and pupils claimed that girls at the school, located in one of the most affluent areas of Scotland, were being denied opportunities as a result of a supposedly “progressive” policy.

Concerned about gender: Williamwood is trying to obtain special LGBT status

Williamwood, in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, is one of the best performing schools in Scotland, as well as one of the largest, with around 1,700 pupils.

The school is applying for charter status to the controversial SNP-funded LGBT charity Youth Scotland, which advises against the use of words such as boy and girl in classrooms, although the local council denied there was any link between this and the change. towards the “captains”.

East Renfrewshire Council, which is responsible for the school, said the move away from head boys and girls was part of a national trend designed to “enable greater equality”.

However, parents pointed out that the measure appeared to have achieved the opposite of its objective, while feminist activists claimed that the measure would limit opportunities for female students and give an advantage to men.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: “If this was a step towards equality then it has backfired.”

‘If there are going to be two positions, then clearly a measure like this brings with it the possibility of the vote ending with two boys or two girls, whereas before one boy and one girl were guaranteed. This is all complete nonsense.

Another parent, writing on social media, said the girls had been left “furious” and that teachers had dismissed their concerns by telling them “that’s why they voted.”

High achievements: the school badge

High achievements: the school badge

Another posted: ‘So girls are excluded. How inclusive.”

Marion Calder, director of campaign group For Women Scotland, said: “This is another misguided policy disguised as equality which actually leads to the elimination of women and denies opportunities to girls.”

‘No wonder parents are up in arms. This school and any others that have adopted this regressive change should abandon it and return to a system that has worked well for them for decades.

“There have been multiple studies showing that in these types of elections, girls are perfectly willing to vote for boys, but boys typically only vote for other children.”

LGBT Youth Scotland is warning schools that terms such as “core pupil” are “more inclusive” as alternatives may distress pupils who identify as transgender or non-binary.

The charity, largely funded by the SNP government, requires schools to rewrite and update policies to achieve accreditation.

Williamwood has the eighth best exam results in Scotland, out of 361 state schools, and was named Scotland’s Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times last year.

The school was rebuilt in 2006 and, three years later, became the first in Scotland to receive the highest possible score – five ‘excellent’ ratings for pupils’ achievement and teaching standards – from inspectors. of Education.

Williamwood has also consistently achieved very high levels of student success in national examinations.

The council said the ‘captains’ system at Williamwood was introduced four years ago, replacing the male and female headteacher titles, and this year was the first in which two pupils of the same sex were elected.

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire council said: “Many schools across Scotland are moving from having a president and headteacher to appointing school captains to allow for greater equality.

‘The process for appointing school captains at Williamwood High has been in place for a number of years and, following a vote, this time two male pupils have been appointed for next year.

‘The wider student leadership team within the school will be made up of boys and girls to ensure a wide range of views are presented.

“It is incorrect to suggest that this approach to appointing school captains is in any way linked to attempts to gain charter status by LGBT youth in Scotland.”

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