A school is being investigated by the government after a teacher called a pupil's views despicable during a row over another allegedly identifying as a cat.

The MailOnline reported on Monday that a girl at Rye College was branded “despicable” by her teacher after she refused to accept there were more than two genders.

A heated disagreement between the pupil and teenager, which was filmed and shared on social media, started when the pupil stated: “If you have a vagina you’re a girl and if you have penis you’re a boy. That’s it”.

The teacher replied: “Cisgender is not necessarily the way to be.

“You are talking about the fact that cisgender is the norm, that you identify with the sexual organ you were born with, that’s basically what you’re saying, which is really despicable."

It has caused the Department for Education (DfE) to launch an investigation into pupils’ welfare at the college.

The Argus: Rye CollegeRye College (Image: Google Maps)

A spokesman for the DfE told The Argus: “Following concerning reports regarding Rye College, the Education Secretary has asked the regional director to look into the matter further to establish the full details of the case and whether the school requires any additional support.

“The safety and wellbeing of students is our top priority. We’ve been clear that teachers should not teach contested views as fact and it’s important that parents and carers are reassured their children aren’t being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan repeated the line that schools should not teach contested views.

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She also told The Telegraph: “Teachers must have due regard to safeguarding if a pupil identifies as an animal.”

The claim that a Rye College pupil might identify as a cat has not been confirmed and has since been questioned online.

Responding, a spokeswoman for Aquinas, which operates Rye College, told The Argus it was not expecting a visit from the DfE but will "continue to keep them proactively updated on this situation and would of course support any enquiries they may have".

"We are committed to offering our pupils an inclusive education," said the spokeswoman.

"Teachers endeavour to ensure that pupils’ views are listened to and encourage them to ask questions and engage in discussion. Teachers also aim to answer questions sensitively and honestly.

"We strive to uphold the highest standards across the school. We are reviewing our processes and working with the relevant individuals to ensure such events do not take place in the future."