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Leading girls' school lets pupils identify as boys

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A leading girls' school is allowing pupils to change their name to a boy's name and wear boys' clothes.

Pupils over the age of 16 at St Paul's Girls' School, in West London, can now enter a formal process to self-identify as boys or as 'gender-neutral'. 

So far, up to 10 sixth form girls at the school are understood to have done so.

Pupils as young as 11 can 'discuss' issue

St Paul's is a high-performing private school with alumnae such as Harriet Harman MP and actress Rachel Weisz.

Under the new policy, pupils over 16 can submit a written request to identify as male or 'gender neutral'.

Pupils between 11-15 "can have discussions at any time" to explore their 'gender identity', and will receive help to prepare for an application "at the right time".

Parents 'ordinarily' involved

Under the policy, the parents of girls applying to self-identify in this way would "ordinarily" be expected to know about the request and "preferably" would be "fully involved in such discussions".

The charter also says that girls can wear boys' clothes and audition for male parts in plays. The new boys' names will be used on sports team lists, with families abroad on exchange visits, in assemblies and in lessons.

'Moving to point where gender is a choice'

Its headmistress, Clarissa Farr, said: "We are moving to the point where your gender is a choice.

"I see this as a social phenomenon, especially in London, which is much talked about among school leaders."

She went on: "We have had an LGBT society for a long time. The school is very relaxed about sexual orientation but this is a different issue. This is about gender reassignment. That is a new thing for us."

"We consulted the pupils to find out what the issues were. Their main preoccupation has been to look after people who don't want to identify as one gender or another."

'Legally male'

So far, no pupils have come forward to say that they wish to undergo medical procedures and legally 'become males'.

If they did, St Paul's would no longer be able to educate them.

'Gender neutral' language

Last year, the Girls' Schools Association, which includes St Paul's, advised head teachers to use gender-neutral words such as "pupils", "people" or "students" in place of "girls".

Guidance was also issued from the Boarding School's Association that advised boarding school teachers to refer to pupils who self-identify as the opposite gender as 'zie'.


Commenting on the news, Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, said:

"It is tragic to see that a high-achieving school with a good reputation is capitulating to the current social agenda.

"These are formative years for these girls, and introducing the option to self-identify as something they are not is only going to cause confusion, which may be long-lasting.

"Instead, the teachers should be helping the girls to celebrate their God-given gender, and empowering them to become well-rounded women." 

Related Links: 
Top girls' school allows pupils to be identified as boys (Mail)  
St Paul's lets sixth‑form girls be boys (Times £)  
Guidebook tells schools not to call children 'girls' and 'boys' 
Boarding schools told to refer to transgender pupils as 'zie' 
UK schools allow boys to wear skirts as uniform