United Kingdom

St Paul's Girls' School will no longer use the term 'head girl' because of its 'binary connotations'

St Paul's Girls' School will no longer use the term head girl as it says it is too 'binary'.

The £26,000-a-year school in Hammersmith, London, will instead refer to the position as 'head of school' from the next academic year.

The change has prompted backlash from some staff of the school, which boasts a list of successful women including former vaccines taskforce chief Dame Kate Bingham and actress Rachel Weisz.

St Paul's Girls' School, which costs £26,000-a-year, will no longer use the term head girl as it says it is too 'binary'

A source told The Times: 'Why do the girls have to change their name?

'They should be teaching young women to be proud of their sex, not ashamed of it. It's very contradictory.

'How can you be a single-sex school that exists to empower girls to do well and at the same time support girls to identify out of being a girl?'

The senior pupil was known as head of school for decades after St Paul's Girls was founded in 1904.

The school said their decision-making was a result of senior pupils considering themselves young women rather than 'girls' but acknowledged the 'binary connotations' were also a factor.

The change has prompted backlash from some staff of the school which boasts a list of successful women including former vaccines taskforce chief Dame Kate Bingham (left) and actress Rachel Weisz (right)

It said senior pupils also felt the historic title was 'more modern, age appropriate and inclusive'.

The school denied that it should change its name under the same logic.

It came as LGBT charity Stonewall urged schools to use the term 'learners' instead of 'boys' and 'girls'.

Guidance documents also suggested teachers hold mixed sex PE classes and ditch all gendered uniforms, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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