A Catholic school in London has said children should use the “preferred pronoun” of transgender pupils.

Marian Doyle, headteacher at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, a secondary school for girls, wrote to parents, saying that “as a Catholic school” its ethos must include promoting “greater wholeness for transgender individuals”. This would include “using the young person’s preferred pronoun and addressing them with their preferred name, recognising their intent to live as the person they believe God created them to be, and refraining from any judgment”.

The letter says that the Equality Act 2010 requires schools to help “eliminate discrimination”, and that guidance from the Department for Education places “gender reassignment” within this duty.

One parent of a girl at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: “If the letter the headteacher sent out materialises as policy and practices, it will be very confusing for the young people at the school. I see it as a very dangerous letter.”

In a statement, Mrs Doyle said: “Every child at our school is made in the image of God and is nurtured and supported to know who they are and how best to make use of their talents.

“Our community not only has a duty to uphold and maintain its charism but also to operate within the law, and as a Catholic school we must look to ensure we respond to different situations for young people, whatever they may be, with compassion, dignity and respect. In this, we seek the guidance of Jesus’s teachings in the Gospels to support us in our response.”

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