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Muslim Council says voices ‘ignored’ during consultation

The Muslim Council of Scotland has accused the council of “complete disregard for the voice of BME communities” during consultation on the future of Notre Dame.

A spokesperson for the charity said the lack of any alternative for girls “with intersectional protected characteristics who rely on institutions like Notre Dame High School” is “worrying”.

Girls at the school said its “extremely diverse” nature and many pupils of Muslim faith are a “positive factor”, which make it “stand out from other schools in the West End area. We feel a change in the school would affect this diversity, and the school would start to reflect the affluent local area, rather than the city of Glasgow as a whole.”

Glasgow City Council says girls with intersectional protected characteristics are “flourishing” at schools across the city.

The MCS spokesperson said: “The public consultation doesn’t make a clear case for changing to a co-ed school and the pupils themselves voted overwhelmingly for the school to remain as it is. There is a recognised lack of diversity at senior levels within the education sector, and this consultation process reflects that. “There has been a complete disregard for the voice of BME communities and in particular the Muslim community, with Muslim girls making up almost half of the pupils. The views of representative bodies and community groups weren’t sought as is the norm with a consultation of this nature. There is also currently no Muslim faith representative at committee even though other faith groups are represented and have voting rights. We are deeply concerned at the process that has taken place and saddened at the prospect of losing NDHS as the last female-only high school in Glasgow, the implications of that for girls across the City and in particular the Muslim community.”

However, a council spokeswoman said the authority had widely engaged with the community. “We held three public meetings and engaged widely. Our approaches went beyond the minimum required in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. There are three places available for faith representatives. Two are allocated and the remaining one advertised by Committee Services in 2017 after the last local elections. Despite significant efforts to get a third faith representative, this place was not taken up.”


Article originally appeared on Evening Times

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