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.