A HEADTEACHER at a private single-sex school says she will no longer call pupils “girls” because there are so many gender options.

Liz Laybourn, the head of Burgess Hill Girls, said she has also re-evaluated using the term "daughters" when writing to parents of the school.

The 59-year-old said that she would have previously talked about "girls", but instead now uses gender-neutral language.

"Thirty years ago, you could be a tomboy, or you could be talked about as a girly girl, but you would never have had the gender identity [options] we talk about regularly today," she said.

Ms Laybourn, who was appointed headteacher in 2017, added: "I use the word students instead of girls, but when you are writing to parents it is difficult not to use the word daughters sometimes.

“Child or children suggests someone too young."

After 11 years as deputy head and a further five as headteacher, Ms Laybourn is retiring next year.

The Argus: Burgess Hill Girls school Burgess Hill Girls school

She added that teachers at the school had a duty to listen to the beliefs of young people, saying that wanting to transition genders will not be a passing fad and the number is likely to increase.

Four and five-year-olds are taught the terms "penis" and "vagina" to encourage open conversations about sex from an early age at the school, which presenter of ITV’s This Morning Holly Willoughby attended more than 25 years ago.

Last year, it was announced that gender-neutral toilets could be installed in every school in East Sussex in line with new advice issued in Brighton and Hove’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit.

In 2016, pupils at Blatchington Mill School in Brighton were given the survey as homework and asked to choose from a list of 23 terms to say how they would describe their sex.

Last month, Attorney General Suella Braverman claimed that schools are under no legal obligation to accommodate children who say they want to change gender.

She suggested that some schools were encouraging gender dysphoria with their "unquestioning approach".

Earlier this year, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said that schools have a "duty" to inform parents if their child identifies as transgender and that guidelines were being drawn up to help teachers support children with gender dysphoria.

He told the House of Commons education select committee: "Parents have to be front and centre of this. And my message to the front line is that you have to involve parents in this. You have a duty to safeguard those children and parents are very much part of that."

Mr Zahawi said that the Department for Education was drawing up guidelines to help teachers.