Primary School Choices(3 Posts)
Hi I'm looking for a feminist perspective on my choices for primary school for DD. I hope it's ok to post a personal dilemma here. I'm interested in a more general discussion of the issues too. One school seems very gender divided e.g. the dance clubs have 1 boy out of 30, and the football teams have 1 girl in across the school. I know this because it has drawn comment in an 'isn't it unusual for a boy to do dance?' kind of way. Is this normal? I had hoped not but maybe I'm just out of touch with the real world. I would say most parents at that school are pretty unquestioning of gender stereotypes.
Another school I'm considering gets a plus point for having a girls' football team (DD loves football) and generally a more 'progressive' demographic but is federated with a secondary school supported by the Leather sellers foundation, which is 'proud to support Mermaids Gender'. ..
So I feel like I've got a choice between firm gender stereotypes or a more 'progressive' school which has (albeit distant) connections with Mermaids! Chances are she'd be fine with either I know. I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences of primary schools and if they enforce/resist gender stereotypes.
I think that in primary a lot depends on the class teacher TBH. I would probably go for the 'sexist' school over the one with links to Mermaids TBH. Just because you will be pushing at an open door if you want to encourage the school e.g. to set up a girls football team. But you'd be going against the grain if you wanted to stand up to Mermaids-style attitudes in the other school. I'd also be concerned about the possible use of transactivist teaching materials at a school with links to Mermaids.
Unfortunately I think it is quite common to have very segregated primary schools, (with girls/boys sports and activities) though a lot depends on where you are in the country / local politics as well as individual school ethos and heads.
I wouldn't have thought the fact the Leather-sellers are involved, with a distant relationship (they provide funding?) with Mermaids would have any impact on the school.
As an aside I've seen Mermaids gets a lot of flack on here but the school I know that had training from them to support a gender questioning child took steps to improve their highly gendered classroom environments including adopting a gender flexible uniform policy across the school.
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