A year to clean five schools of sexism – shouldn’t others do the same?

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Journalist Donna Ferguson visited one of our pilot schools, spoke to the children and staff, interviewed our CEO Caren and wrote about our successful pilot year for Guardian Education in November, the week we published our final evaluation.

A class of 10-year-olds are sitting on the carpet looking at their teacher with open mouths. Their faces say: outrage.

Their teacher, Rosemary O’Brien, has put up a statement on the board – a real one, by the Football Association in 1921. Football is “quite unsuitable for females”, it says. Across the classroom, pupils are voicing their disagreement.

“That’s completely untrue,” says one boy assertively. A girl speaks up too: “Women should be allowed to play. Like men, they should have football clubs and be famous and do whatever they want,” she says.

An experiment in this school over the past year has conspicuously transformed the way pupils and teachers think about males and females and their roles, as documented in a report to be published this week.

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