It’s said St Luke’s Primary, Elm Grove Primary, Carlton Hill Primary, and Saltdean Primary, all in Brighton, East Sussex, have decided teachers should instead use the term “grown-ups”. They reportedly feel it is more inclusive and caters for children who are not raised by their biological parents or are brought up by two parents of the same gender.
But the guidance has been labelled as “woke cancel culture” with parents largely reacting in furore.
“How ridiculous! This kind of thing is getting way out of hand,” wrote one dad on social media.
Another parent wrote: “What is this sort of madness?”
A third stated: “Absolutely disgusting. What the hell has happened to this country due to the woke and PC brigade. It’s woke cancel culture.”
Others argued the move will hinder the development of children.
One person stated: “It’s just too confusing for the children.”
Another wrote: “Children won’t understand… The world has gone totally nuts.”
Primary schools teach pupils between years Reception and 6, with children between the ages of five and 11 under their care.
But each school has told Sussex Live why they’re introducing the move.
Carlton Hill Primary says on its Equalities Guidelines: “We try to talk about ‘our grownups’ rather than our ‘mums and dads’ to acknowledge the different family groupings our pupils live in.”
This exact same statement is also present on the school website of Elm Grove Primary near Hanover.
Both of these schools were rated as Good by Ofsted after their last inspections.
St Luke’s Primary School, rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, said: “We have an Equalities Language Code for staff, for example, to value all families we never refer to mums and dads and instead talk about grown-ups.”
A Saltdean Primary School spokesman said: “We use the terms parents/carers rather than mum and dad as we recognise our families are made up of many different people.
“When children start at Saltdean, they discuss and share what makes a family for them.
“This allows children to see different family dynamics than their own but also helps them to recognise it is the relationships that make a family.”
Brighton and Hove City Council say that it wants all pupils to feel included, but that schools can decide which words they want to use.
It said in a statement: “Our advice to schools is, of course, fine to use words such as mum, dad or grandma if staff know a child’s family circumstances.
“But we have a very diverse school population and we want all members of the school community to feel included.
“In cases where a child’s family is unknown, the term grown-up or grown-ups can include, for example, grandparents, foster carers, families with same-sex parents and single-parent families.
“Schools make their own decisions about their equality policies.”