Our schools are NOT ‘scrapping’, ‘banning’ or ‘cancelling’ the words ‘mum’ and ‘dad’

Recent reports claiming four Brighton schools are not allowing the words ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ to be used are untrue.

These are the facts:

• The words ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ are still used for children who have a mum and dad, and this hasn’t and won’t change.

• For instance, a teacher/staff member speaking to a pupil who they know has a mum and dad would say to a pupil, ‘tell your mum and dad...’.

• However, not all children have a mum and dad. So, if a child has two mums, two dads, are looked after by their grandparents, foster carers or has a single parent (a mum or a dad), then the appropriate term will be used.

• If a teacher/staff member isn’t sure of the child’s family situation, then ‘grown-up’ would be used.

• If a teacher is talking to the whole class, or a group of pupils, they will use the more general terms ‘tell your grown-ups’ or ‘tell your parents and carers’ as it’s possible not everyone in the group will have a ‘mum’ and a ‘dad’.

As most parents and carers will know, this approach and use of ‘parents and carers’ has been used in schools throughout England - not just in Brighton & Hove - for many years to ensure schools’ staff are addressing children’s very differing family situations sensitively.

We hope this clarifies the situation.