The last state-funded all-girls school in Scotland is to admit boys for the first time, after councillors voted unanimously in favour of the change.

Notre Dame High School will now become co-educational with the first male pupils admitted to S1 from August 2021, in a gradual process of integration.

Proposals to change the entry criteria have been the subject of huge controversy among parents, but the decision was expected after Glasgow City Council indicated support for the change.

After the vote was confirmed by elected members, the council’s executive director of education Maureen McKenna said:”There has been much debate on the changes to the entry criteria for Notre Dame High School, with strong arguments being put forward both during the pre-engagement and the consultation process.

“Now that the decision has been made by elected members, education officers will start to develop transition plans and will engage with school and parent representatives from all the associated primary schools and secondary schools affected by changes.

“There’s not only the physical aspects that need to be considered but we also need to be sensitive and recognise that this represents a significant change for the school and local community.

“I am confident that Notre Dame High School will continue to provide an excellent education to the young people of Glasgow and their families.”

A report issued as part of the consultation process has estimated the cost of adaptations at £750,000, with alterations needed to toilet and changing facilities within the school.

READ MORE: Notre Dame High to admit boys for the first time

The report also stated:”Should this proposal be approved then further detailed work would be carried out and this cost estimate may change.”

The consultation was carried out in February, and prompted fierce divisions as parents disputed the proposals. While the most popular option, backed by 45.9 per cent of respondents, was for the school to start admitting boys, the majority opposed the plan. Nearly two-fifths (39.9 per cent) wanted no change to the admissions policy, while 13.4 per cent backed an option to keep the school single-sex but increase the catchment area.

Glasgow’s Notre Dame High was founded in 1897 and has a roll of 728 pupils, with 580 pupils coming via placing requests from more than 50 primary schools across the city.

Parents, pupils and residents neighbouring the school were asked to respond to the consultation and 7,110 did so, although only 4,747 responses were deemed ‘complete’.

Last month Glasgow SNP councillors voted in favour of admitting boys to the school, and councillors for other parties had already said they would also back the proposal.

The consultation report said that educationally there were no strong arguments either way for the change.It stated: “The academic arguments for preferring co-educational education as opposed to single gender, or vice-versa, is not compelling.

READ MORE: Notre Dame: As campaigners call for it to enrol boys for the first time, we go inside Scotland's only all-girl state school

“Glasgow City Council strives to ensure excellence and equity in its schools irrespective of the nature of them.”

However a number of parents living locally have campaigned so that their sons can attend Notre Dame rather than a nearby mixed secondary, while some parents and existing pupils fought hard to preserve the status quo.

The Council has pointed out that with boys being allowed in stages from 2021, no current pupils will have to share a classroom with boys.

However resentment remains. The Twitter group @Girls4ND_pupils, which speaks for pupils opposed the change said every councillor who ignored their concerns “should be carrying a heavy cross”. They added: “The boys aren’t even here yet and it feels like a part of our school has been ripped away from under our feet in the worst way possible.

“What happened to people make Glasgow? Because after the way we have been treated we don’t feel as if anything we say actually matters anymore.”