The latest DfE guidelines on the teaching of RSE in schools state that external resources used by schools must be ‘evidence-based and contains robust facts and statistics’ and that ‘materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used’.
We have seen many examples of resources which do not do this: our critiques of some of these are available on the Factsheets section of our website.
The ‘genderbread person’ is a popular one which we have seen used by other providers. It appears to use scientific terminology and has visually appealing graphics. It is only when looking at what it is actually saying that it becomes clear that it is creating ‘identity’ out of what might otherwise be called ‘personality’ and is encouraging children to label themselves in a way that relies completely on sexist stereotypes.
In the light of this, one of our supporters wrote to her children’s school to request the removal of the ‘genderbread person’ as a teaching resource. We’re pleased to say that the school did this very promptly, and that the letter was used by another parent the following week to successfully challenge the use of the genderbread resource in her own son’s school.
We reproduce it here for the benefit of other concerned parents and carers.
You can see the resource that she was objecting to here.
Update: This resource has been downloaded over 1200 times in the 6 months since it was published in October 2020. Contacting your children’s school really does work and schools are usually very willing to work with parents, particularly on matters of safeguarding.
If you are not satisfied with the response from your school and are wondering what to do next then you will find our guide on ‘How to Complain to your Child’s School‘ useful.