Wellington College calls in transgender speaker to challenge stereotypes

This is an edited version of an article from the 23 October edition of TES. To read the full article and to subscribe to TES click here.

A prestigious private school has come up with a novel way of teaching pupils about gender equality: invite a transgender woman to give a talk.

Wellington College called in Rikki Arundel as part of a themed gender day, which aimed to challenge pupils’ ideas about what it means to be “male” and “female”.

Staff said the day was important as the school had a long history of being boys-only, and went co-educational only 10 years ago. Boys still outnumber girls and pupils have a tendency to divide themselves along gender lines, even when they are not asked to.

Cressida Henderson, a deputy head at the Berkshire school, said last week’s talk was “an extremely good and impactful way” of getting pupils to think about a wide variety of gender issues.

As part of the event, pupils were also given the chance to discuss participation in sport, issues around careers and leadership, education and body image, and whether children learned better in mixed or single-sex groups.

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