The Educate and Celebrate charity told teachers during a training session that pupils and staff could adopt terms like ‘child’, ‘pupils’ and ‘students’ to be more accepting
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A debate over the use of gender neutral-terms in schools has been sparked after a charity group encouraged teachers and pupils to ditch certain words.
The Educate and Celebrate charity told teachers during a training session that pupils and staff could adopt terms like ‘child’, ‘pupils’ and ‘students’ to be more accepting.
Common ways of referring to educators in schools, such as ‘Mr’, ‘Sir’, ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ could be replaced by the gender-neutral ‘Teacher’ Dr Elly Barnes said during the union-funded training.
The charity leader suggested neutral replacements for ‘boys’, ’girls’, ‘son’ and ‘mother’ such as ‘pupils’, ‘students’ and ‘child’.
A list of alternative words and terms were shown to teachers at the training session, with other examples of neutral language including ‘head pupil’ instead of ‘head boy’ and ‘parent’ rather than ‘mother’, reports MyLondon.
During the 90-minute lecture, which was organised by the National Education Union (NEU), Dr Barnes outlined how schools should be moving towards a ‘gender free model’.
The charity leader told the group that her ideas were working well in schools where it had already been implemented.
Barnes showed attendees a ‘code of conduct’ that she encouraged schools to display at reception. The poster listed bullet points of all the characteristics protected under the Equalities Act, apart from sex.
Barnes suggested that the options of ‘male’ and ‘female’ should be removed from school application forms, with a box for gender simply ‘left open’ instead.
One attendee reportedly argued that teachers ‘do not take offence’ from words such as ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’, saying they are only used to ‘get your attention’.