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Should all-girls school finally let boys into the classroom?

A consultation is under way over admitting boys to Notre Dame High School after 122 years.

Notre Dame High School in Glasgow has been opened solely to girls since 1897.

But that could soon change, with a consultation process under way over whether it should admit boys.

A public meeting was held on Tuesday night, as some parents called for boys and girls to have the chance to learn together.

They pointed to the fact that, just a few streets away, Notre Dame Primary School is co-educational. Boys from there go to St Thomas Aquinas.

What are the options?

Option One: No change.

Option Two: The school would remain girls-only, but alter its catchment area to include Notre Dame Primary School, St Patrick's Primary School, St Joseph's Primary School and St Charles Primary School.

Option Three: Change the entry criteria for Notre Dame High School to be co-educational and change the catchment area. St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, St Roch's Secondary School and John Paul Academy would also change their catchment areas.

Former pupil: Time to admit boys

Daniela Young is 41 years old and attended Notre Dame High School from 1989 to 1994.

"For me it wasn't overall a positive experience because when I then left at the end of fifth year and went to university.

"I struggled a lot with confidence in dealing with mixed peer groups and having to essentially work with the opposite sex because it was quite an alien thing to me because I'd gone five years in school without experiencing that.

"I didn't really have much contact with the opposite sex and it really did put me a disadvantage for experiences in life, social experience and also within the workplace environment because it's not a normal situation.

"Half the point of going to school is to develop socially and to develop how to interact and become a team player with both male and female. In my opinion going to a single sex school doesn't do that for you.

Daniela Young: Believes boys should be admitted.
Daniela Young: Believes boys should be admitted. STV

"It's not a natural environment and it creates a false sense of reality.

"It does females a disservice to say that you can only flourish to your full potential in a female environment. I think that's actually quite insulting to say that and if the tables were turned and it was an all-boys school there would be an uproar about it.

"Surely in age of equality, it's equality for everyone both male and female. I just really don't see the benefit of it at all.

"In school your learning your skills that will take you through life; how to hold discussions, how to have team work, how to interact with each other which is what you do in normal life. A single-sex environment doesn't give you that experience which is essential to succeed.

"If you've to be the best, you've to be the best regardless of your gender. So if you go to school and you don't learn how to compete with males as well as females it's not going to do you any favours later on in life."

Current pupils: Girls-only rule helps us find our voice

Asmaa Zaki, 17

"I was really quiet in primary school so I think it's really helped me develop my character and I don't think I would have been as confident if I'd went to a mixed school.

"Something that the school definitely teaches you is that your voice is really important, we're just taught to always make sure our voices are heard."

Niamh Watt, 18

"I've got so much more confidence in a classroom. I'm always confident speaking out.

"It's not like I go to an all-girls school so I don't socialise outside and I don't see boys or know how to interact with boys.

Brogan, Niamh and Asmaa don't want things to change.
Brogan, Niamh and Asmaa don't want things to change. STV

"So it's not something that I look at, going to college, and get paranoid about it.

"I look at college and think 'what's the work going to be like?'. It's not something that sticks out as a negative to me or a worry."

Brogan Carberry, 17

"I think it will be a different learning environment, because obviously I'm used to just being taught with girls, so that will be different.

"But I've excelled so much being in this all-girls' school to get to this place which I don't think I would have done if I was in a mixed school.

"Rugby's often seen as a boys' sport whereas our school has its own club.

"You don't just go to an all-girls' school to be a girl, every opportunity is there that would be at a mixed school."

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