The Scottish Football Association is to appoint a new leader to oversee the girls' and women's game amid criticisms of under-investment and prioritisation of boys in dedicated performance schools.

A Performance Manager is to be appointed to "ensure a pipeline of talent can be identified, nurtured, and progressed to enable the Women’s National Team to perform at the highest level."

The SFA said elite football has an opportunity "to make strong progress" with the  recent introduction of the new Scottish Womens Premier League and the continued professionalisation of the game.

It comes after The Herald revealed that no girls had been accepted to any of the SFA's seven performance schools this year with all 48 places awarded to boys.

READ MORE: Glasgow girl rejected for SFA-run football performance school after 'tick box trial'

Performance schools were launched in 2012 and allow boys and girls to train within an educational environment.

The new SFA manager will be based at Hampden Park and will be tasked with leading a review of existing performance programmes "refining and improving where necessary."

The Herald understands that wide-ranging changes to the performance school system are being discussed.

Ami McLaughlin, mother of 12-year-old Lily, said her daughter's trial for Holyrood Secondary was nothing more than a "tick-box exercise".

READ MORE: Concern as no girls awarded places at Glasgow football performance school 

Mrs McLaughlin arranged a meeting with the SFA but says she "wasn't there to fight for a place" for her daughter.

She said:"We wanted to fight for the next group of girls hoping to break the mould.”

Sara Wilson's daughter Holly also trialled for Holyrood and says one of the coaches admitted it "wasn't set up for girls".

She said: "It was embarrassing and painful watching my girl in the trial process as the prejudice was clearly evident - with her male team players flipping the ball over her head as opposed to passing to a girl in some instances."

Leanne Crichton, one of the most renowned figures in Scottish women’s football, said the mixed-trial selection process “isn’t really suitable for girls”.

Scotland's football authorities were urged by a politician to invest more in the women and girls’ game to capitalise on England’s stunning victory in the Euro 2022 final.

Hannah Bardell, the MP for Livingston, said the Scottish FA needed to “think very carefully about how much more they can do to emulate the success of the Lionesses.”

The SFA is also appointing a new Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football to replace Fiona McIntyre, who took on the role last year.