When the Sex Discrimination Act was introduced in 1975-1976, it encouraged some educationalists to examine the differentiated school curriculum.
Many schools still offered different curriculum options for the sexes or girls were often pressured into making traditional choices.
The careers options for women were limited, and in 1979 61% of working women were employed in only 10 professions.
In the late 1970s-1980s there were a range of initiatives to address these issues supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission and a few Local Education Authorities.
In the early 1980s, the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) instructed their officers to examine the issue of achievement from the vantage point of class, race and gender, and developed proposals to improve the situation. An Equal Opportunities Sub-Committee was established with two subsidiaries, an ethnic minority section and a caucus of women members. Under Frances Morrell, the leader of ILEA from 1983-1987, gender equality became an important issue in ILEA's policies.
In 1980 Kate Myers, a teacher at Haverstock School in Camden, north London, was the Chair of the North West London Working Party on Equal Opportunities, a group of colleagues in north London Schools who felt they had received no guidance on equal opportunities from ILEA. Myers presented the Working Party's findings to ILEA's Standing Committee on Careers Opportunities for Women and Girls. As the working party recommended, the committee was renamed Standing Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Girls and was Myers elected a member of the committee.
In 1980 Myers was given responsibility for equal opportunities additional to her role as head of house at Haverstock School.
The following year she was given a full time secondment as the ILEA co-ordinator of the School Council's Sex Differentiation Project, which aimed to improve the educational experience of girls and produced material which encouraged the reduction of sex differentiation in schools.
The project also led to a ILEA conference 'What's in it for the boys?' , which looked at the importance of developing life skills and changing boys attitudes to women and work and several ILEA reports including 'Anti-Sexism in ILEA Schools' (1983). Following the project Myers supported by the DES and ILEA visited several Sex Desegretation Centers across the United States.
From 1985-1986 she was the director of an equal opportunities pilot project, which was funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the School Curriculum Development Committee (SCDC) to develop strategies to be implemented in the classroom.
The self assessment pack was trialled in schools in the London borough of Merton and was later published by the SCDC in 1987 as Genderwatch! Self-assessment schedules for use in schools'.
Two further editions of the workbook were published in 1992 and 2007.
In 1987 Myers was appointed equal opportunities organiser (Inspector for Gender Equality from 1988) to the London Borough of Ealing which was controlled by the Labour Party.
Here she implemented strategies proposed by the SCDC equal opportunities project and the borough joined the SCDC's Equal Opportunities Consortium (which was based at the Institute of Education).
A gender equality team was set up to provide in-service training for teachers on equal opportunities and promote the career development of women teachers.
In 1990 the Conservative won the local elections in Ealing and cut back on all the equal opportunity schemes created by the former council.
The Gender Equality Team was disbanded shortly after the election, though many of the initiatives were retained by the schools.
In 1993 Myers became the project manager of the 'Schools Make a Difference' project (SMAD) in the London borough of Hammersmith.
She also became involved in higher education as the Associate Director of the International School Effectiveness and Improvement Centre at the Institute of Education, University of London;
Professor of Professional Development in Education at the University of Keele; Senior Associate of the Leadership for Learning Network at the University of Cambridge; an adviser for The London Challenge and the Gender Equality Adviser for the DCSF's 14-19 programme.
Richard Martini et al. (1984) 'Is your school changing?: A pack for teachers to use in their schools to monitor progress towards sex equality' London: ILEA, Research and Statistics Branch.
Myers, Kate. (1987) 'Genderwatch: self-assessment schedules for use in schools' SCDC Publications.
Myers, Kate. (1992) 'Genderwatch!: after the Education Reform Act'. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Louise Stoll et al.(1994) 'Linking school effectiveness and school improvement through action projects'
Barber, Michael (1997) 'School performance and extra-curricular provision: a report for the Department for Education and Employment'
Louise Stoll and Kate Myers (eds.) (1998) 'No quick fixes: perspectives on schools in difficulty'. London: Falmer
John MacBeath and Kate Myers (1999) 'Effective school leaders: how to evaluate and improve your leadership potential' Prentice Hall.
Kate Myers (ed.) (2000) 'Whatever happened to equal opportunities in schools? Gender equality initiatives in education' Open University Press: Buckingham.
Barbara MacGilchrist et al. (2004) 'The intelligent school.' London: SAGE.
Kate Myers (2005) 'Teachers behaving badly?: dilemmas for school leaders' RoutledgeFalmer: London.
Kate Myers et al. (2007)'Genderwatch: Still Watching' Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham.