AS HEADTEACHERS of four busy, thriving and family diverse schools in Brighton, we have been shocked and saddened by your recent stories claiming we are "scrapping" the use of the words mum and dad.  

We can assure you and your readers this is not the case. No one has ever mentioned banning or cancelling the use of mum and dad, and never will.

As school staff, we have long used the words "grown-ups" and "parents and carers" when addressing the children collectively to respect family diversity.

Our parents and carers, as well as our children, know this and support us. We also have the support of Brighton and Hove City Council. 

When we talk to children about their individual families, we use whatever is appropriate to them eg mums, dads, mum and dad, dad, mum, grandma, grandpa, foster mum, foster dad etc.

We are told this was clearly pointed out by a council officer, but still the stories went ahead.

We’ve all received threatening and abusive emails, not from parents and carers who know and agree with how we address our children, but from readers of your newspaper and others who read the national media’s misleading articles also.

Running a busy school is difficult enough and the last two years have been extremely tough on children, parents, teachers and support staff.

Articles such as these only serve to make our jobs even harder. 

The headteachers of Carlton Hill Primary, Elm Grove Primary, Saltdean Primary and St Luke’s Primary