The much publicised decision of the Court of Appeal confirming that the practice of segregating boys and girls at a co-educational school is sex discrimination is unwelcome news for many schools.
The Court decided that the segregation meant that girls and boys could not socialise with each other - and even though both genders suffered this detriment there was unlawful direct discrimination under the Equality Act.
Whilst the Equality Act contains a specific exemption from sex discrimination for single-sex schools, this high-profile ruling will affect all co-ed schools with a segregation policy. Such schools could now face claims of unlawful discrimination from Ofsted and/or parents and pupils.
So what should schools do? One option is to stop segregating pupils - which is easier said then done without making significant changes to the school's infrastructure. A more radical solution would be to change the school into single-sex schools.
The case could also have a wider impact in other areas such as employment, with female employees who are treated differently but equally to their male counterparts now potentially being able to claim direct discrimination.
Islamic faith school's gender segregation is sex discrimination, court rules An Islamic faith school's policy of segregating boys from girls is unlawful sex discrimination, leading judges have ruled. Three Court of Appeal judges in London overturned last year's finding by a High Court judge that Ofsted inspectors were wrong to penalise the mixed-sex Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham on the basis of an "erroneous" view that segregation amounted to unlawful discrimination.