School Head Recognises Gender Is a Choice

Sue Sanders

Schools OUT UK has welcomed a decision by a the head of a private girls’ school to let pupils choose their gender identity. St Pauls School in West London is to consider applications from pupils over 16 to be known as boys or gender neutral.

Putting the child at the centre when it comes to gender identity, the High Mistress Clarissa Farr said the school has had an LGBT society for a long time but, “This is about gender reassignment. That is a new thing for us”.

Sue Sanders, chair of Schools Out UK, called it a “sensible and smart” move. While enabling students to decide which gender they wanted to be should automatically be protected under the Equality Act, it was a positive move to be welcomed – particularly as it came in LGBT History month, she added.

“The gender fluidity of young people has become more pronounced in the last three to four years; there is a growing confidence in young people to challenge binary constraints,” she said. “This is really about organisations keeping up with how people are perceiving themselves – this is part of the whole process of exploding those gender boxes.”

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