UK: My girls are not 'girls'

The headmistress of one of the country's most prestigious girls' schools says she has stopped calling her pupils 'girls' in a bid not to alienate transgender pupils. James Allen's Girls' School's head teacher Sally-Anne Huang says she now refers only to 'pupils' and not 'girls', as well as replacing the pronoun 'she' to 'they'. Speaking to The Sunday Times, she said: 'I try not to say 'girls' [but] when you have been teaching for 20 years it is very hard not to say 'girls'.

James Allen's in Dulwich, south east London, is the oldest all girls' school in the capital, founded in the eighteenth century by visionary James Allen and teaches youngsters from four to 18 years.

Mrs Huang, who started at the school in September 2015, said she has changed her vocabulary to be sensitive towards those pupils considering changing their sex. At James Allen's students are allowed to wear trousers, cut their hair short and be called boys names if they wish. The school's website reads: 'Perhaps we get our dynamic, all-embracing approach to education from our founder James Allen. Right up to the present day our approach to girls' education, music and the community has set new boundaries and we are proud of this continuing tradition of innovation.'  

Bernadette John, director of the Good School Guide's education consulting service, said this week: 'Families are coming to us when they feel they are left with no option but to pull their transgender child out of a school. Sometimes the child is being bullied and the school is not dealing with it appropriately. Read more via Daily Mail