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Spalding Grammar and High Schools attacked over 'gender split' for primary school taster days




Two of Spalding's secondary schools have been accused of "gender bias" over the choice of subjects during taster days for primary school children.

Spalding Grammar and High Schools were slammed for making girls take part in one-hour Food Technology and Drama lessons, while boys were in Design and Technology lessons.

A letter to parents from the two schools, posted on social media, said: "Spalding Grammar School and Spalding High School are holding a Learning Experience Morning for Year 4 children.

Spalding Grammar School.
Spalding Grammar School.

"The children will take part in two, hour-long lessons.

"The girls will be attending Spalding High School where they will take part in a Food Technology and Drama lesson, whilst the boys will be taking part in a double Design and Technology lesson at Spalding Grammar School."

News of the taster days, one of which took place as recently as yesterday (Thursday), has made national headlines and even drawn criticism from Conservative cabinet minister Liz Truss.

Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Photo by Adam Fairbrother. MLNF-18AF08344
Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Photo by Adam Fairbrother. MLNF-18AF08344

In a message on social media site Twitter, Ms Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Leeds in the 1980s was more advanced than this.

"Both girls and boys doing woodwork, metalwork and cooking, as it should be."

One message on social media described the taster days as "Why not to choose our school when you leave primary" events, while another described it as an excuse to "set your watches back 75 years".

Headmistress Michele Anderson of Spalding High School. Photo supplied.
Headmistress Michele Anderson of Spalding High School. Photo supplied.

Spalding High School offers Design and Technology as part of its curriculum, with three elements for students which include Food and Nutrition, Product Design and Textiles.

However, neither Food Technology or Drama are part of the student curriculum at Spalding Grammar School.

In a joint statement, headmistress Michele Anderson (Spalding High School) and headmaster Steven Wilkinson (Spalding Grammar School) said: "As part of a broad Primary Liaison programme, helping primary school pupils to transition confidently to secondary school, Spalding Grammar School (for boys) and Spalding High School (for girls) work together to provide a range of experiences.

"These include an opportunity for local pupils to spend part of a day with us.

"Across the last ten days, we have welcomed over 700 pupils from 24 schools to experience the full range of subjects available at both of our schools.

Steven Wilkinson, headmaster of Spalding Grammar School. Photo supplied.
Steven Wilkinson, headmaster of Spalding Grammar School. Photo supplied.

"The actual subjects offered on any given day is simply dependent on the

availability of staffing and resources.

"We have received, as we do every year, a huge amount of positive feedback about this initiative.

"Therefore, it is a shame that our intentions have been misinterpreted in this way."



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