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Boys not allowed at school ballet class

(143 Posts)
chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 12:57:40

So - a mum at the school has started a ballet class after school for reception and won't admit boys.
She keeps giving different reasons - it's art not sport, boys don't stick with it, they need to be trained differently etc.
The teachers take the girls to the hall at the end of the day before pick up so he's very aware he's not going. Basically, he's in floods each week.
I spoke to the head who said it's a hire and not school policy so there's nothing she can do.
I think that's wrong, that there should be an equal ops policy that they push through with hires.
Does anyone have any knowledge on this before I go see her again?

fuzzyfozzy Thu 29-Dec-16 13:04:08

And if they had a company in who only wanted to teach boys football...
I'm sure parents would be up in arms. They are in effect breaking their own policy on equal ops.

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 13:15:42

Breaking their own policy is a good line. Thanks. She steamrollers the conversation so want to go in prepared.
I'm upset and furious for him. A lot of the parents don't realise.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 29-Dec-16 13:17:46

What total rubbish! Boys are so rare in ballet that any who show interest are nurtured more than the girls - at least, that was my experience with my dd. So the ballet 'teacher' is wrong.

And as for "it's an external hire so we can't do anything about it" - also total rubbish! Firstly, it's discriminatory, so the school can and should refuse the hire. Secondly, her clients are all children from that school (presumably?) so, whether or not the school have any responsibility for what goes on in that club, as far as the children are concerned the clubs message is being promoted by the school - so they cannot allow such a divisive, sexist and untrue attitude to continue on their premises.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 29-Dec-16 13:18:50

Autocorrect! That was my experience with my DSs.

Wolfiefan Thu 29-Dec-16 13:20:29

How horrible! So what boys can't do art? They don't stick with it? So all girls do and there are no adult male ballet dancers? Oh wait! They need to be taught differently? As beginners? Really? Do their penises make them unable to follow the same instructions as girls.
She sounds awful.

BratFarrarsPony Thu 29-Dec-16 13:22:28

I think the head might be wrong. If it is being offered as an after school club on school premises, then it should not be discriminatory.
Take it to the governers if she or he won't listen.

Gizlotsmum Thu 29-Dec-16 13:23:38

The teacher is talking rubbish. Yes there are slight differences ( now rather than curtesy) and how they hold their arms in some positions but a good teacher would be able to manage that... I would kick up a real stink about this....

Gizlotsmum Thu 29-Dec-16 13:23:58

Bow not now

Floggingmolly Thu 29-Dec-16 13:26:16

Is your son really "in floods" every week because he's not going to ballet class??
Our school run lots of after school clubs, but they're always limited to the first 30 children (out of a year group of 60) who apply.
The ones who don't get a place generally deal with it just fine...
Are you sure you're not fanning the flames? hmm

Heratnumber7 Thu 29-Dec-16 13:29:26

I think private clubs are allowed to be single sex - take Guiding.

If the teacher is not comfortable teaching boys, then it's not fair to make her. Or she may well know from experience/reading all the studies that have been done that girls thrive better in single sex environments.

I know that when we ask Brownies if we should admit boys, the answer is always a very loud NO.

As a mother of girls I'd be applauding the fact that there is another girls only space my daughters could go to after school for a bit. Boys will have all the advantages later in life.

How about suggesting she, or someone else starts a separate, either ballet or something different, after-school club for boys only?

Devilishpyjamas Thu 29-Dec-16 13:30:55

The RAD syllabus has been changed to make it easier for boys to learn next to girls.

look for a different class. My son started age 13 and I had no problems finding him a choice of classes

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 13:44:36

@flogginmolly Yeah, he genuinely is. His best friends are there and the only kids left behind are boys.
I've tried to ignore it but it happens each week.

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 13:46:24

@heratnumber7 I hear you but the girls are asking for boys to join. I think because they're 4/5 it's not hit that point yet.

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 13:49:44

My worry is that I'll fight to get him admitted and she'll be horrible. But I am very concerned that the school didn't nip it in the bud re gender with it. I've had a look at the equalities act and guidance for schools and it looks in breach of the act.

BratFarrarsPony Thu 29-Dec-16 13:50:54

anyway Heratnumber, it's quite a different example. Brownies was set up as there were already scouting troops for boys, but nothing similar for girls.

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 13:54:52

Also @floggingmolly, there's only one club as it's reception. And he's very aware he can't go because he's a boy.
Other stuff when older, yes. Am sure he'll adapt. But this is different I think.

aginghippy Thu 29-Dec-16 13:58:33

The head genuinely has no oversight of an activity for pupils taking place on school premises? hmm If true, that in itself would be a cause for concern.

irvineoneohone Thu 29-Dec-16 14:01:58

Can't you find the club outside of school?
Since it's not run by school, I would just accept it it was girls only club.
Teacher obviously doesn't like/feel comfortable enough/whatever, to teach boys, so I would respect her wish.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 29-Dec-16 14:06:02

Do their penises make them unable to follow the same instructions had me laughing out very loud grin

I totally agree that anything school have on their premises they are advertising.

Have a look at school behaviour policy. Normally it says children should uphold reputation of school whilst off air in school uniform. Ask why that doesn't apply to onsite - out of uniform wink

CauliflowerSqueeze Thu 29-Dec-16 14:08:30

Could it be because she is not allowed to supervise boys in the changing room (or maybe is this when they're older?)

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 14:11:11

@cauliflowersqueeze No, they're all 4 or 5. No separate changing.

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 14:12:18

Apparently it is illegal under the equalities act as it should apply to kids of this age at school.

pileoflaundry Thu 29-Dec-16 14:15:57

I would talk to the head again I would be livid. I think I read this on mn: sometimes it is possible to explain that something is sexist by changing it to an example on race (assuming of course that the head isn't racist). E.g. if the club was for white children only, would that be ok? Hopefully at this point the head's jaw would hit the floor and action would be taken.

It doesn't sound hopeful, but would the mum running the class be open to having boys if there was an extra volunteer (you?) to help?

Would you be able to find your DS a proper ballet class to go to, and try to persuade the parents of his friends to move their children too?

chocolateisnecessary Thu 29-Dec-16 14:22:04

@pileoflaundry All good points, thanks. Will try...

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