Is segregating a school by sex necessarily discriminatory? X School v Chief Inspector

X School is a voluntary aided faith school for boys and girls aged between 4 and 16. It has an Islamic ethos and for religious reasons believes that it is mandatory to separate boys and girls at a certain point in their development: segregation is applied to children who have passed their 9th birthday by 1 September in the relevant academic year [7].

In The Interim Executive Board of X School v Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services And Skills [2016] EWHC 2813 (Admin) the issue before the Court was whether or not the school was discriminating unlawfully against its male and/or female pupils by making “parallel arrangements” for their education in the same building (the Claimant’s description of the school’s policy) or by applying a regime of “complete segregation” for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips (the Defendant’s version). Continue reading