Legal Proposal Seeks to Deny Public Funding to Schools that Separate Boys from Girls

Country: Spain

Date of incident: May 31, 2011

With the approval of the Council of Ministers of Spain, the State Department of Education, submitted a motion to the Congress to deny public funds to schools that teach their students in gender-separated classrooms. This method of education has been applied mostly by Christian school in Spain. The same was previously attempted in the regions of Asturias, Cantabria, and Andalucía.

The promoter of the motion and its most prominent supporter, Leire Pajín, told the press that the measure does not “aim to make [religious] schools disappear, but just to defund those type of schools".

Schools who apply the seperation argue that the method conceptualizes the ways that male and female brains develop and function in childhood through adolescence, and the separation aims to maximize the students learning capacities, and tailor the instruction according to their needs and skills. UNESCO recognizes gender-separated teaching as a method of education that seeks to maximize the skills and capacities of every student according to his learning skills and maturity. "Parents should be allow to exercise their right to decide what method of education is better for their kids" says the Spanish Confederation of Centers of Education.