The Sunday Telegraph

Head girls renamed for being ‘too binary’

- By Dominic Penna

THE role of head girl at one of Britain’s leading girls’ schools will be renamed because it is “too binary”.

St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmit­h, west London, which charges £26,000 a year, is to rename the position “head of school” after pupils asked for a more inclusive title.

Helen Semple, the deputy head, gave a training session in April during which it was claimed that there are at least 150 gender identities.

The session, Beyond the Binary: Understand­ing how to be inclusive for all gender identities, welcomed Emma Cusdin, a transgende­r woman whose firm Global Butterflie­s “helps companies create trans inclusive working environmen­ts”.

“The LGBTQI world is an amazing rainbow of positivity and labels. We love labels. We love terminolog­y, we love flags, we love parties,” Ms Cusdin reportedly said at the meeting.

“Young people are finding amazing ways to self-identify. We stopped counting at 150 gender identities that people are self-identifyin­g as. We did a little quiz in terms of what the 150 are. I know about 30, in terms of what the definition­s are.”

Parents should not be “afraid to ask” their children about unfamiliar terminolog­y surroundin­g gender and often “haven’t had access” to the same education around gender issues as school staff, Ms Cusin added.

Alumni of the school’s Old Paulina Community include Kate Bingham, the head of the UK’s Vaccine Task Force, and the television presenter Susanna Reid.

The school has rejected changing the name of the school on account of its use of the term “girls”. High mistress Sarah Fletcher said that “reasoned and respectful discussion” was crucial to the developmen­t of the pupils.

“We have never, and would never, encourage a student to ‘be’ anything in relation to their identity. We want our students to be happy as themselves,” she said.

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