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Changing the narrative in schools - no more boys or girls

(47 Posts)
user1484455234 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:28:00

Would be interested to read views on how schools are being asked to change the narrative within UK schools based on this guidance:

It came to my attention via this teachers experience of delivering a lesson:

BlueHumbug Sun 15-Jan-17 20:41:59

My headteacher in the eighties would great us in assembly saying 'Good morning students'. Later discovered it's because she thought like many feminists of the era that there should be no difference between a male/female pupil in an educational setting. This isn't a new or a transgender thing, and I see nothing wrong with it.

Boiing Sun 15-Jan-17 20:42:16

That's so sad. Thanks for posting.

OneWithTheForce Sun 15-Jan-17 20:44:52

Would be interested in hearing your views on the matter OP before I share my own.

MajesticWhine Sun 15-Jan-17 20:45:01

What's your view OP?

soundsystem Sun 15-Jan-17 20:45:49

I'm with BlueHumbug (and her 1980s head teacher). I would prefer teachers said "children" or "students" rather than "boys and girls", as I don't think it's necessary to highlight boys and girls as separate/different; it reinforces gender stereotyping.

Zippidydoodah Sun 15-Jan-17 20:46:46

This is mad.

museumum Sun 15-Jan-17 20:51:31

I can agree with the elimination of the obsession with boys and girls as two separate species. I mean WHY do we say "boys and girls"?
We don't say to a room "good morning people with blue eyes and people with brown eyes" so why do we say "good morning to those with penises and those with vaginas".
Good morning everyone. Or students please pipe down would work fine.

Note that this doesn't mean I believe in blue brains and pink brains or innate gender. In fact, it's because I specifically don't believe in that.

ScarlettDarling Sun 15-Jan-17 20:51:32

Where's your 'aibu'?

As a primary school teacher, both links you posted just make me think 'Oh dear'. What is the world coming to when I can't address my class as 'girls and boys'? sad

HappyGoLuckyGirl Sun 15-Jan-17 20:54:47

But they are boys and girls. The same as 'good evening, ladies and gentleman'

What the hell am I missing? confused

drivingmisspotty Sun 15-Jan-17 20:55:30

Your source is pretty biased and inflammatory. Have they even read the pamphlet? They cite 'The mail on Sunday reports' rather than quoting the original. They also quote laws that do not exist in this country to make you fearful of a slippery slope, I guess.

I would be suspicious too of the phrase 'a charity funded by the British taxpayer'. Perhaps, or perhaps they get a grant, for a particular and different piece of work from the government. Also how is it to be distributed? As an option for schools or as government policy?

Need more info before I get worked up about this one I think!

Grilledaubergines Sun 15-Jan-17 20:57:40

Crazy. The children boys and girls.

Maybe we should never announce the sex of our children at birth. And give them unisex names. 'I have had a child. Said said shall be referred to as Lesley/Hilary/Kim/X'.

user1484455234 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:58:57

Apologies, I am new to this website so unsure of the protocols. My views are as yet uncertain, I am a former biological and medical science lecturer and have witnessed significant debate since the screening of a BBC2 programme a few nights ago. I did find myself feeling quite sorry for the teacher who felt they had to remain anonymous for feeling uncomfortable with the topic and for fear of losing her job. Intend to speak with former colleagues to discover their thoughts

DullUserName Sun 15-Jan-17 21:00:25

One of my DCs is gender nonconforming so I was quite tuned into boys/girls language when I was teaching. One assembly, I counted how many times a colleague referred to "boys and girls" when gender was wholly irrelevant... 7 times in 20 minutes.
You wouldn't specify races or hair colour.

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Jan-17 21:05:20

I think it would be a very good thing to stop referring to 'boys and girls' in situations where sex and gender are irrelevant. I hate seeing teachers who do things like promoting girls vs boys competition or get them to line up separately etc. However, in situations where it is relevant, it's essential that we can still use the right language e.g. when taking a class swimming they need to go into the right changing room.

user1484455234 Sun 15-Jan-17 21:07:06

PS This is a link to an article by The Guardian - please don't jump to conclusions about my using different sources!

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Jan-17 21:09:21

I did find myself feeling quite sorry for the teacher who felt they had to remain anonymous for feeling uncomfortable with the topic and for fear of losing her job

I worry about finding myself in a situation where I am expected to teach children that 'girls can have a boy's body but still be a girl inside.' That is the point where my career will be over. It scares me.

PoptartPoptart Sun 15-Jan-17 21:12:57

The world has gone crazy. That is all.

Rickandmorty Sun 15-Jan-17 21:12:59

I was teaching sex Ed last week and I started with a bit on puberty they had to tick on a sheet the changes for boys, changes for girls and changes for boys and girls. A student pointed out that they could all apply to boys and girls because the boy or girl could be transgender and I... was just... confused

splendide Sun 15-Jan-17 21:13:46

How interesting. I've never thought of it like that but you certainly wouldn't say "good morning blondes and brunettes" - why do we emphasise sex?

Rickandmorty Sun 15-Jan-17 21:15:49

I do boys and girls teams in lessons because I like to give girls the opportunity to shine. Sometimes I think girls are socialised to hang back and listen to boys and I like to separate them at times so that they can see that they can win!

drivingmisspotty Sun 15-Jan-17 21:20:16

You might be interested in looking up the charity. You can find their report of accounts on the charity commission website

Hope that works.

It's a tricky one isn't it because I think it is not surprising some people feel uncomfortable with the subject - it challenges culture and assumed norms. And it is vaguely to do with sex and to talking about sex with young people...

I am not sure how I feel either. It wouldn't be acceptable for a teacher to profess/tolerate racism because they 'don't feel comfortable' with being racially inclusive. And maybe one day popular/majority discourse will change on this subject too. This could all be us just getting to grips with the next step in becoming a more loving and open society. But it is normal to feel wary where our kids are concerned.

I feel when I was a teen in nineties the battle ground was more around sexuality. Young people who said they were gay were told they were 'just experimenting' or 'going through a phase'. Some people believed young people could be turned gay or encouraged just by hearing about it. We've come a way since then I think and teens/their parents now appear more comfortable with the LGB bit of LGBT+.

On the other hand, there are complications around the place of cis women in the emerging way of thinking.

But it's a tough world and surely it is best to love each other, brothers and sisters siblings in the human family.

So I don't know really.

Let's see what happens next...

QuackDuckQuack Sun 15-Jan-17 21:24:07

Is this actually happening or is it this generation's equivalent of 'baa baa rainbow sheep' and 'we have to call Christmas Winterval'? It seems that these things do happen in a very small number of settings, either when they are run by people with 'unusual' views or run by people who struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of information coming to them.

Tescotwister Sun 15-Jan-17 21:28:34

My OH says he never says 'boys and girls' (and not for any trans-fair reasons), just 'class' or 'children'.

Whilst I understand why these issues are raised, it does all start to feel a bit too far. There are reasons why particular sexes are sometimes targeted, e.g. STEM for girls; testicular cancer for boys and it does seem like in the near future anything which segregates on sex will be a no-no.

cookiefiend Sun 15-Jan-17 21:28:45

I personally am not too fussed one way or the other about trans issues (no personal experience), but I don't like groups divided by sex as it reinforces to children that boys and girls are different.

There is no need for classes to be divided that way and it would not be acceptable to divide on grounds of race or religion for example.

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