Watch that language

20th September 2013 at 01:00

I was disappointed when I read last week's article about Eton College students working as teaching assistants in London's Gallions Primary School ("England's elite head to East End", 13 September).

I am fully supportive of children learning about each other's lives - and if students from Eton grow a social conscience about poverty, so much the better. What appalled me was how one of the students quoted in the article was described - apparently, "[his] father works in mining". No mention of what his mother does; only what his father does is of importance.

This type of reporting is anachronistic in the 21st century. It reinforces gender attitudes through language. These little things, at a subconscious level, continue to tell girls that they are not as highly regarded as their male peers. In education, we need to be at the forefront of a conscious change in language so that everyone is equally valued.

Ruth Golding, Plymouth.

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