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Gender segregation in school unlawful


HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills -v- The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School [2017] EWCA Civ 1426




An Islamic faith school’s policy of segregating girls and boys is unlawful sex discrimination according to a ruling by the Court of Appeal in England and Wales. 




On 13th October the Court of Appeal overturned an earlier ruling that segregation at al-Hijrah school in Birmingham was not sex discrimination.  The Court of Appeal judges ruled that the school was discriminating against its pupils contrary to the Equality Act. 




The school segregated pupils from the age of nine for lessons, breaks, school trips and school clubs.  The judges said that the government and Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) should have identified the problem earlier and that other schools, with similar policies, would have to be given time to adjust their rules.  It is estimated that 25 other mixed schools have similar policies.  The ruling applies to co-educational schools only as single-sex schools are exempt from discrimination claims related to admissions under the Equalities Act.




Read an article from The Guardian here.  Coverage from Rights Info can be read here.