Teachers told not to call pupils ‘pet’ and ‘buddy’ as they stereotype genders 10 months ago

Teachers told not to call pupils ‘pet’ and ‘buddy’ as they stereotype genders

Isn’t a teacher calling a pupil ‘pet’ a little unprofessional anyway?

Teachers have been instructed to refrain from calling students 'pet', 'love' or 'buddy' as they reinforce gender stereotypes that can be harmful in later life.


Principal of Caledonia Primary School, Collette Wright, led a talk on equalities training at the recent Scottish Learning Festival where she hoped to shed light on the “unconscious bias and the impact of language”, reports The Times.

“It gave people time to reflect on how they used language and gendered names like ‘pet’, ‘love’ and ‘buddy’ and how these things can have an impact on how children feel about themselves,” she told the education conference.

Also speaking at the Scottish Learning Festival was Mhairi Brodie - an official dedicated to improving gender balance and inequality - who echoed Wright’s concerns while also taking a deeper-dive into the disparities of the education system.


She spoke on the perception of young boys being complicated and messy - and specifically about how that perception differs from the treatment of young girls.

She said: “From early in life, boys are treated differently, from midwives holding boys more firmly to being expected to be more competitive in nature, yet also expected to require more help with basic tasks like tying shoes.”

Contrastingly, Brodie said that girls are expected to do more, complete tasks and can take care of themselves better than boys can.

She continued to say that the one-size-fits-all approach to education ignores the fact that boys “mature at a slightly slower pace than girls”.


Brodie states that literacy is “perceived to be feminine”, with boys usually taught to read by their mothers and female teachers.

“The link between poor male literacy and poor male attainment cannot be ignored... and the key difference between boys and girls is boys have less ability to explain their feeling and emotions and as a result are more prone to anger and mental illness."

She goes on to connect crime and the education system's treatment of boys, saying that substance abuse makes up 83 per cent of school exclusions and 90 per cent of the UK’s prison population.

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