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Praise for UK schools where pupils explore gender freely

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) in the UK is praising the efforts of schools that are working with students who are or may be transgender, the Daily Mail reports.

Among the schools highlighted for their outreach is an infants' school, with kids in the four- to seven-year-old age group. The Ofsted report, No Place for Bullying, quoted in the Mail, notes that the unnamed 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."

The school is a gathering place for transgender students from other learning facilities who attend after-school clubs.

The report also mentions a primary school, catering to children up to 11 years old, that encourages its pupils to behave in a "non-gender-stereotypical way."

The reports adds, "In the Early Years Foundation Stage in particular many boys dress up in girls' clothes from the dressing-up box and one boy wears his hair long with a ribbon and no one ever teases them. A Year 1 boy sometimes wears a tutu all day without comment from his peers … The school choir and the sewing club both include plenty of boys and many girls play football."

Ofsted visited 37 primary schools and 19 secondary schools and surveyed 1,357 students for the study.

The education watchdog reports directly to Parliament.

View a copy of the report here

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