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Teachers at all girls’ (or boys) schools should consider addressing their charges simply as “pupils” or “students” rather than girls (or boys), to be more inclusive to transgender children.

Caroline Jordan, president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), said that, in some circumstances, staff should use gender-neutral language.

Some single-sex schools have already adopted more neutral language in situations such as assemblies and others are considering doing so, said Mrs Jordan, who is headmistress of Headington School in Oxford.

The choice of words is an important part of a “complex pastoral issue” increasingly faced by schools, she added.

Gendered Intelligence, a group which runs “trans awareness training” sessions, was invited to address a GSA conference for head teachers. The group recommends avoiding terms such as “young ladies”.

“Where relevant to the audience, in assemblies, for example, instead of saying ‘Girls, go to lessons,’ staff should consider saying ‘Pupils, go to lessons’ or ‘Students, go to lessons.’

“Every year there are more and more young people posing questions around their gender identity. I do not want anyone to think that girls’ or boys’ schools are invested in one way of being a girl or one way of being a boy.”

Jay Stewart, of Gendered Intelligence, told The Sunday Times: “Young people want to feel they belong in their school environment and they are not made to feel ‘other’ or weirdos or freaks.”

Share your comments below.

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  • oh i understand where they are coming from but every other generation before has dealt with these WORDS and turned out ok. People need to stop trying to be politically correct all the time and just let kids be kids.

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  • I think this is taking things way too far. Another case of the minority changing how things work for the majority. If they’re girls or boys refer to them as such fir goodness sake

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  • I personally think that we are going a little mad around the need to do this whole gender neutral identity. Yes whilst some people identify as transgender, I think we are becoming a little overboard. If I was being sent to an all girls school I would want to be referred to as a girl. I am not sure why a parent of a transgender child would want them to or the transgender child would want to go to an all girls school or all boys school if they identified as a mix/trans because if I was I wouldn’t want to go somewhere where the majority of the other students identify as their particular sex as they were born. That is just my thoughts.

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  • Kind of rings true in a lot of aspects of life, like work environment – him, her… Instead of them, they. A good habit to get into.

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  • I think it is taking things too far. If it is an all girls school, they should be called “girls”, and if it is an all boys school they should be called “boys”. If they want to do this in co-ed school then they could call them pupils or students.
    We should not be made to change our identities to please a minority in order to become politically correct. I think they should be included but in a different way. They know they are different. Why make everyone else different in order to fit in with them?

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  • Another attitude that annoys me sometimes.
    You can’t do that subject that’s for…….
    No only parents but a lot of teachers too. e.g. I personally know one teacher at a High School that didn’t want to teach girls woodwork. Some of them are very talented doing things with their hands but not good when it comes to written exams. One girl actually made some small pieces of furniture.

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  • I’m excited to see how this works out…i feel it will be awesome for the Students and Teachers and others.
    Happy that they are willing to adapt to trying different ways

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  • This is an interesting and thought provoking article on titles. Thanks

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  • Um. I think this is okay so long as people don’t get so carried away that you can’t ever talk about girls or boys.


    • Agreed. Political correctness can go way too far sometimes.

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  • Really? I think it’s very extreme, but that’s just my opinion

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  • Hhhmm. Interesting.

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  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing the language and making it more general.

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  • Im unsure as to how this really affects the students and if it really makes a difference at all.

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  • It makes sense for the change but I think the titles boys and girls will be hard to remove.

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  • I understand why they are doing this,but does seem extreme.

    Reply

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