A primary school in Cambridge is telling children that calling someone by the ‘wrong’ pronoun is “illegal”.
Arbury Primary, which takes children between four and eleven years old, holds special celebratory assemblies when a child ‘transitions’ from one gender to the other, and allows children to use whichever toilets match their chosen gender identity.
The school also urges parents to change their child’s name by deed poll if they ‘change gender’, in guidance which is being used by a number of other schools.
David Davies MP criticised the school’s “completely irresponsible” advice, saying: “It’s ludicrous that a school would suggest something as radical as a legal name change for children this young.
He added that the school should instead concentrate on teaching pupils reading, writing and arithmetic.
Stephanie Davies-Arai of Transgender Trend, a group of concerned parents, added: “For a primary-aged child to change their name by deed poll is a drastic step that will cement a gender identity that the child may grow out of.”
The policy, entitled Being a Trans Friendly School, says: “Calling someone ‘he/she’, ‘it’ or deliberately the wrong pronoun is unkind, and illegal.
“If you hear or see this type of language being used challenge or report it.”
It also claims that transgender children will be able to decide whether or not a deliberate attack has occurred.
The guidelines are featured on the school’s website alongside a script for an ‘equality assembly’, written by Arbury headteacher Ben Tull.
The script says: “Some children are born in the body of a boy and know that inside, they are a girl. Some children are born in the body of a girl and know that they are a boy.”
Schools in the Vale of Glamorgan have also been issued transgender advice, which says that boys who say they are girls will be allowed to share sleeping quarters with girls on school trips.
The guidance states that “trans pupils and students should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity”.
And the Youth Hostel Association’s new Inclusion and Diversity policy also invites transgender guests “to use the accommodation and facilities which match their gender identity”.
Feminist campaigner Venice Allan said it was “disturbing”, adding: “I always choose the women’s dormitory when I stay at a youth hostel. I wouldn’t feel comfortable sleeping near or changing in front of men.”