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.