ST PAUL’S, a fee-paying girls’ school in west London, often tops the league tables for exam results. But it is in the news for another reason: the publication of a new “gender-identity student protocol”, which allows pupils older than 16 to wear boys’ clothes and to be addressed by boys’ names. Although the school would not accept a male applicant, it is happy to support existing pupils who wish to change gender, explains Clarissa Farr, the school’s head teacher. Growing numbers of her pupils, she says, no longer see themselves as girls.
Schools are often in the front line of social change. But rarely has it come so fast. The Gender Identity Research and Education Society, a charity, estimates that the number of children who identify as transgender in Britain is doubling each year. Mermaids, an outfit that supports transgender children, received 3,000 phone calls last year, up from 600 in 2014. Most children simply identify as another gender, or none; a minority begin medical treatment to alter their bodies.
Source: The Economist