During the past year, the College has been involved in a pilot study to identify good practice in countering gender stereotyping in education.  The initiative, called “Opening Doors” has been run by the Institute of Physics and supported with government funding.  Its culmination has been the publication of a good Practice Guide to help schools address gender based issues.  Frome College has played a key supporting role in the development of this guide.

On 20 October, two teachers from College, attended a conference in London to celebrate the publication of the 'Good Practice Guide' and to also hear a series of lectures on gender based issues in education.  These lectures included sociological perspectives on gender and also the very latest research from the field of neuroscience on how female and male brains differ and what the implications are for education.

Russell Middleton, one of the attending teachers said, “The lectures gave the audience the chance to hear the very latest cutting edge research from Science, Psychology and Sociology.  I was particularly impressed with the latest findings from neuroscience delivered by Dr Stephanie Heyes from the University of Birmingham.  Additionally, the information provided by Dr Gijsbert Stoet, from the University of Glasgow, on the study of sex differences in cognitive abilities was fascinating.

With the publication of the Good Practice Guide, Frome College will be able to lead the way in reflecting upon practice in subject areas and tutor groups and developing an action plan to combat gender stereotyping that can be a barrier to students taking the right subjects and achieving their best.

Russell Middleton went on to say that ”It was really good to hear Frome College being thanked by Professor Peter Main from the Institute of Physics for all the work that we have done so far.  It has given us all a lot to think about and we are working hard to support young people in making the right choices”. 

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