Nursery staff in Scotland have been told not to call children ‘boys and girls’, or tell them stories about male characters, in an attempt to stamp out gender discrimination.
The guidance from the Care Inspectorate also cautions against using words such as ‘man-made’ and ‘mankind’ and urges staff to change story characters such as Mr Squirrel to ‘Squirrel’.
Nurseries are also encouraged to display male ballet dancers to break down gender divisions. But critics have called the guidance ‘patronising’ and ‘out of control’.
The Inspectorate urges nursery staff to ‘retell nursery rhymes or fairy tales in a more gender-equal manner’ and not to greet children with the phrase ‘hello boys and girls’.
The taxpayer-funded public body, which inspects registered childcare providers in Scotland, said: ‘The role that early learning and childcare can have in positively promoting gender equality can’t be overstated’.
But Conservative MSP Alison Harris said: ‘These recommendations appear to be patronising in the extreme. Many parents will be concerned that this political correctness is replacing common sense’.
Richard Lucas of the Scottish Family Party said: ‘Pushing this sort of feminist extremism is an attempt at social engineering and indoctrination, starting with the very youngest. Why can’t they just accept that boys and girls are different?’