Girls should not be called 'girls': UK schools told

Girls should not be called 'girls': UK schools told

Girls should not be called 'girls': UK schools told

Leading single-sex private schools in the UK have been told not to use the words 'girls', 'young women' and 'young ladies' because they might offend pupils who are questioning their gender identity.

The advice, which also recommends creating unisex lavatories, has been issued by the Girls' Schools Association, which represents head teachers at independent schools.

Teachers have been told that they should instead use gender-neutral words such as pupils or students, The Sunday Times reported.

"In assemblies instead of saying 'Girls, go to lessons', staff should consider saying 'Pupils, go to lessons'," Caroline Jordan, association president and headmistress of Headington School in Oxford, was quoted as saying.

"I feel that every year there are 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," she said.

Jay Stewart, chairman of the gender diversity group Gendered Intelligence, which advised the association, said that about 1 per cent of the population were transgender and could start to feel they were the wrong sex from as young as four.

"Young people want to feel they belong and they are not made to feel weirdos or freaks," he said.