Reason and Common Sense.
A deputy head at a top girls’ school has warned of the ‘real danger’ of heterosexuality being ignored in favour of lessons on gay and transgender issues.
Cathy Ellott, pastoral deputy of St Mary’s Ascot, said it is important to continue to discuss relationships between men and women because this is the ‘majority experience’.
She added that such partnerships should be ‘learned about and celebrated’ in schools so that children are prepared for adult life.
She also said her all-girls Catholic boarding school in Berkshire is rejecting a wider trend of using gender-neutral language.
Many institutions have chosen to simply refer to pupils as ‘students’ so that transgender youngsters do not feel alienated, but Mrs Ellott said St Mary’s would continue to identify itself as ‘a school for girls’.
Her comments, made in an interview with the Independent School Parent magazine, come after the Government introduced compulsory relationships classes for children of all ages. The lessons must include material about same-sex relationships and transgender issues to comply with the Equality Act.
A number of schools are already teaching children as young as five about gay relationships and gender dysphoria. Mrs Ellott said that while pupils at St Mary’s were taught about LGBT issues, such issues are not the focus of relationships lessons.
She warned there was a ‘real danger’ that too much emphasis on alternative lifestyles could sow confusion in youngsters.
She added: ‘There is a danger that the other sexualities are discussed, and heterosexuality – which is the majority experience – is ignored rather than learned about and celebrated.’ At St Mary’s, girls discuss transgender issues as part of its PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) studies, and relationship and sex education, ‘within the context of its Catholic ethos’.
Mrs Ellott said: ‘This means that, although the girls are educated about transgender issues, they are encouraged to develop their own response to these issues, guided by their faith.’ DailyMail