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A training session has recommended that school pupils should refer to their tutors as ‘teacher’ instead of gendered titles such as ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’.

In a session funded by the National Education Union (NEU), Dr Elly Barnes told teachers they ought to be moving towards a ‘gender-free model’ in education.

Dr Barnes is chief executive of charity Educate and Celebrate, which spreads positive messaging about LGBT acceptance in schools and provides training to educators across the country.

During her webinar with teaching staff, Dr Barnes recommended dropping words such as ‘boy’, ‘girl’, ‘son’ and ‘mother’ and replacing them with gender-neutral phrases, The Telegraph reports.

In the webinar, ‘Getting the language right for 2022’, Dr Barnes insisted that the gender-free model was a success in many of the schools her charity worked with.

A training session has recommended that school pupils should refer to their tutors as ‘teacher’ instead of gendered titles such as ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’

A training session has recommended that school pupils should refer to their tutors as ‘teacher’ instead of gendered titles such as ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’

A training session has recommended that school pupils should refer to their tutors as ‘teacher’ instead of gendered titles such as ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’

In clips of the training, Dr Barnes was seen suggesting that ‘male’ and ‘female’ categories be removed from school application forms and that school uniforms could be gender-free.  

One attendee questioned whether the phraseology would affect terms such as ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’, which pupils often to use to get the attention of their teachers.

A female teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, branded the session as ‘propaganda for trans activists’ and told The Telegraph she thought it was against the Department for Education (DfE) guidelines.

She said: ‘Teachers will take what this woman says as fact because the training was organised by the NEU and they’re not going to question their union.

‘They’re trying to erase us by taking away our language, saying we should avoid words like mother and we’re paying for it essentially.’

The NEU was criticised for using its members’ fees to fund the session by The Safer Schools Alliance, a campaign group which lobbies against the end of conversion therapy and what it terms ‘gender-led ideology’ in schools. 

Educate and Celebrate’s website states that teachers and pupils respond well to its training, with 94 per cent of secondary students saying they ‘felt more confident in expressing their views and be themselves’ in a survey.

Dr Elly Barnes, chief executive of the charity Educate and Celebrate, hosted the training session for teachers funded by the National Education Union

Dr Elly Barnes, chief executive of the charity Educate and Celebrate, hosted the training session for teachers funded by the National Education Union

Dr Elly Barnes, chief executive of the charity Educate and Celebrate, hosted the training session for teachers funded by the National Education Union

The charity has received funding from the DfE in the past and charges as much as £400 for a webinar with unions, as well as its award programme which costs £1,800. 

Its website states: ‘We provide LGBT+ inclusion training to ensure that you meet all of your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) objectives for staff, support staff, leadership teams, governors, trainee teachers, student workshops, youth networks, CPD days and an Award Programme.’

The charity lists Durham County Council as a partner and has positive testimonials from a number of headteachers.

Educate and Celebrate and the NEU have both been approached for comment. 

Source: Daily Mail

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