This headline is somewhat misleading as the students were not all necessarily labelled as trans*, rather they were allowed a safe space in which to explore and express themselves. But kudos to the schools for creating safe spaces and encouraging gender expression beyond the female/feminine male/masculine stereotypes.
According to the Daily Mail, it found one unnamed school encourage children to behave in a “non-gender stereotypical way”, with younger boys dressing up in traditionally female clothing and allowed to wear ribbons in their hair.
One report published earlier this year singled out Central Street Infant and Nursery School in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, for particular praise, after finding it celebrated “difference and diversity as a way of developing tolerance, understanding and respect”.
Noting that around a quarter of the children in Reception year had same-sex relationships as part of their family, it said: “Transgender pupils are taken seriously. This involves a high level of tolerance, empathy and support.
“The school appreciates that a boy may prefer to be known as a girl and have a girl’s name and similarly a girl may have a girl’s name but wants to dress as and be a boy.”
It also notes the school works actively to give same-sex parents their preferred names, such as “mum Pat and mum Dawn” and lessons to explain how a childr conceived using frozen sperm could believe he had “no father”.
In the latest report, nine were highlighted by Ofsted inspectors as having “successfully tackled prejudice-based attitudes and related bullying” help eliminate name-calling and create an “inclusive” environment in classes.
In total, almost half the children surveyed said they had been bullied or picked on at their current school, with inspectors saying name-calling in schools was too often dismissed by teachers as childish teasing
Susan Gregory, Ofsted director of education and care, said: “Schools must develop a positive culture so all pupils learn in a happy and safe environment.
“Teachers should receive the right training and support so they have the skills and confidence to teach pupils about diversity and the effects of bullying.”