The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Charlie Roden

Quiz: how sexist is your school?

Does your school have a whole-school approach to challenging gender stereotypes? Take our quiz to find out.

Gender inequality permeates many areas of British society, and schools are no exception to this. 

A particular issue in schools is the gender imbalance in subjects such as science, technology and maths, limiting opportunities for all children to thrive and develop.

Many schools are trying to create an environment which encourages children to think for themselves, but stereotyped ideas about gender still go unnoticed or unchallenged. 

 

 

What else can be done to tackle gender inequality in schools?

Opening Doors: A guide to good practice in countering gender stereotyping in schools (2015) provides some suggestions.

  • Appoint a member of the SLT as a 'gender champion'. This role should 'bring together the whole school in a coherent campaign to challenge gender stereotypes'.
  • Set up a feminist society to allow and encourage all students to discuss equality.
  • Have 'option coordinators' to work alongside the school gender champion to ensure that all subjects are presented equally in terms of level of difficulty.
  • Provide careers guidance at an early stage. It should emphasise keeping options open and actively challenge gender stereotypes.

Adapted from the workshop delivered by Lorna Naylor at our Protect and Support Vulnerable Teenagers conference.

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