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‘Notre Dame has worked as a girls school for 121 years … change is unfathomable’

By Ian Marland at

A campaign to keep Scotland’s only single-sex comprehensive a girls school says it is gaining momentum.

Notre Dame High in the Dowanhill area of the West End has again recently seen calls for change.

Girls For Notre Dame

Growing: many parents want Notre Dame High to remain a girls-only school

Parents who want the girls-only policy to end last month won a concession from the new SNP city administration.

Education chiefs agreed to a consultation on the arguments for and against admitting boys – but no timetable was set.

Now parents wanting the status quo say their voice is growing too.

Girls For Notre Dame initially started as a small group of parents within the St Thomas Aquinas/ Notre Dame learning community.

But recent weeks has seen the campaign numbers grow.

A Facebook page dedicated to keeping Notre Dame High for girls has topped 1,000 likes.

A petition, meanwhile, has gathered more than 1,300 names.

A counter petition calling for change has almost 1,800* names.

‘POWERFUL CORNERSTONE’

Spokesperson for Girls For Notre Dame Michelle Dalgarno said the campaign had been “overwhelmed” by support from across the city.

“We are keen to share Notre Dame High School for what it is – a powerful cornerstone of the community, changing and shaping young girls lives.

“It’s a unique learning environment and to change the foundations of an organisation that has been operating amazing well for the past 121 years, is completely unfathomable.

“This change is unnecessary for Notre Dame High School and for those who truly believe in it.

“It should continue to be treasured and celebrated.”

Notre Dame was founded in 1897 and is Scotland’s only remaining single-sex comprehensive school.

TOP PERFORMING SCHOOL

A Catholic school, the state comp is also popular with Muslim families who prize its all-girl ethos.

The high school is one of the top performing high schools in Glasgow.

However, local campaign group Notre Dame High For All (NDH4ALL) say the present situation discriminates against boys.

It says Notre Dame Primary is the only primary in Scotland whose girls and boys cannot go to the same secondary school because of the policy at the high school.

* The figure was updated after publication following updated information from NDH4ALL.