The Bishop of Chester believes a new booklet aimed at schoolchildren could lead to ‘confusion’ because it advises teaching them not to refer to each other as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ over fears it will offend transgender pupils.
The publication, which is being sent out for use by teachers , parents and pupils, also states the use of ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ should be stopped in a bid to prevent discrimination.
Bishop of Chester, the Right Rev Peter Forster, commented: ‘This is likely to sow more confusion than clarity.’
Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? features a fictional story about a 12-year-old boy transitioning from female to male and encourages the use of terms such as cisgender, for children who identify with the gender in which they were born.
It also explains the terms ‘genderqueer’ and ‘panromantic’, meaning someone who is attracted to people of all gender identities, are also explained.
Its publishers describe it as ‘the first book to explain medical transitioning for children aged seven and above’.
Instead of terms such as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, the book suggests: “It may instead be preferable to group students into classes, or houses, or pupils”.
The book will be distributed to 120 ‘best practice’ schools by the government-funded and Ofsted backed organisation Educate and Celebrate.
The group were handed £200,000 of taxpayer-funding from former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to help train teachers.
Founder Elly Barnes said the book, which is due to be released next month, is ‘much-needed’.
She said: “Not everyone identifies as male or female – that is fact”.
But Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative Party chairman, said: “I think it is damaging to children to introduce uncertainty into their minds.”