This week we have come across numerous articles in the press expressing ‘fury’ over the ‘Boys and Girls’ ban in schools by Stonewall. (Stonewall is a registered human rights charity that provides information, support and guidance on LGBTQ+ inclusion)

We thought we would share our thoughts to offer a balance to the comments made in these news stories, from our 50:50 Future perspective, with an inclusive lens.



‘BOYS & GIRLS’ BAN Fury as Trans rights group encourages schools to stop calling pupils ‘boys and girls’


In the same way that we at 50:50 approach inclusion and inclusive language with organisations (and schools), Stonewall offers the same guidance which respects those who do not conform to binary genders by using gender neutral terms such as ‘everyone’ when addressing a group of people rather than using ‘boys and girls’, for example. Being LGBTQ+ inclusive means recognising that there are boys and girls and some people who are non-binary so providing guidance and support helps ensure everyone feels included. The binary terms are unquestionably still used and are certainly not banned as these articles would perhaps persuade.

Another issue raised is around gender neutral toilets, uniforms and participation in sports and other sex-segregated activities. Again, the inclusive approach here is to break down barriers so any individual can, quite simply, dress in a way that they feel comfortable with and engage in activities that are of interest to them. It seems like we have more opportunities to do this as adults so why not remove those hurdles from a young age so the options are much wider for anyone to be themselves?

Toilets always pose controversy. Some of the advantages of unisex facilities (such as disabled toilets, facilities on trains, planes and in other places / countries) include; preventing discrimination against transgender and non-binary people, evidence shows there is an increased risk of discrimination and bullying with segregated facilities. Another advantage of unisex toilets is parents can accompany their children of the opposite sex, to the toilet as well as same-sex parents can take their children to the toilet without worrying about their safety should they have to go on their own. Where possible it can be really beneficial to many having this option. Where feasible, some built environments ensure there are both segregated facilities to mitigate concerns around safety and a mixed-use option. (It would be useful to have some evidence cited around the correlation in increased predator behaviour with gender neutral facilities. Please let us know of any research conducted on this in the comments.)

English education law is clear that ideological material should not be promoted in schools. 

Statutory guidance makes it clear that pupils should be taught about sex, sexuality, and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way. Providing resources that help to raise awareness and increase empathy around diversity, that encourage inclusion and respect is something we, at 50:50 would also mirror with the organisations we support.

Tory MPs let rip at Stonewall for issuing the guidance and even suggested it be “blacklisted” from interfering in education.

Tory MP Sir John Hayes told the Mail on Sunday: “Stonewall sucks ever more from hard-pressed schools, and in doing so seeks to distort the language used by teachers and pupils.

In line with Stonewall’s objectives, we also want to see schools and organisations where every individual feels safe, seen and heard.

A spokesman for Stonewall said: “LGBTQ+ children still face high levels of bullying and significant barriers in education, so it is only right for schools to create an environment where they can grow up supported and safe to learn.”

It’s a divisive topic for sure, as always it’s about finding common goals and respecting others’ views and opinions even if they are different from your own…even when it’s really hard! Based on our own background, experiences and view of the world we are all unique and offer different perspectives, which is the rich tapestry of diversity…