'No, I'm not going to tell you my preferred pronouns'

Pupils who identify as transgender could be refused places at same sex schools, under government plans.

The guidance would apply to state and private schools and also allow teachers the right not use students' preferred pronouns.

It comes as the Department for Education was ordered by Rishi Sunak to speed-up long-awaited guidance on the issue of gender-identity in schools.

TalkTV's Vanessa Feltz debated the issue with Felix Fern, co-founder of Trans Activism UK, and Naomi Cunningham, from Sex Matters, a campaign to re-establish sex in rules and culture.

When Felix stated his preferred pronouns and asked Ms Cunningham for hers, to demonstrate doing so was a simple exercise, she refused.

"It's not as simple as that," she said. "If you ask me to declare my pronouns, you will ask me to express my assent to a belief system that I don't subscribe to. That's quite bullying."

Ms Cunningham said the right of teachers not to use students' preferred pronouns was about more than just freedom of expression.

"Going along with a change of pronouns is a very serious intervention in itself which is capable of entrenching gender distress in a young person and making it much harder for them to go back if they've gone through a phase.

"It's not just a matter of being kind to one individual, and respecting that individual's rights. It's a matter of respecting the rights of all the other children and adults in the school and their freedom of expression."

But Fern say the new rules would take away part of students' identity for just an ideological belief system.

"What you're saying is: I don't see you as an individual human being so I'm going to overlook anything that makes you comfortable. That feels quite bullying and dangerous to me.

"It is respectful and decent to speak to people how they wish to be spoken to. It does not mean that you are somehow violating your own personal beliefs. I think that's a little bit silly.

"I use the pronouns he/they because I did for a very long time identify as binary trans masculine, using only he/him pronouns. I came out as trans when I was 13. That was 21 years ago. I no longer identify that way.

"I now identify as non binary. Changing those has not been difficult for me. I've had moments in my life where I thought I want to change entirely. I've dabbled experimented with it, and it has not harmed me deeply."