Woke row erupts as school REFUSES to provide 'litter trays' for students who 'identify as cats'

West Monmouth School

West Monmouth School

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 10/11/2023

- 18:43

Torfaen Council confirmed the school's letter was genuine

A secondary school has sent a letter to parents to warn it will refuse to provide litter trays for any pupils “who might want to identify as a cat”.

West Monmouth School, which boasts a string of famous alumni stretching from Hollywood actor Sir Anthony Hopkins to Welsh rugby great Graham Price, wrote to baffled parents about the use of “litter trays” alongside children.

Parents of pupils at the Pontypool school were contacted to deny claims that cat litter trays are set to be provided for “furries”.

Torfaen Council confirmed the school's letter was genuine and said that special treatment for any pupil who identifies as “an animal of any kind” was “not acceptable”.

WATCH NOW: A student in Sussex refused to call a fellow pupil a cat

West Monmouth School’s deputy headteacher Claire Hughes wrote: “It has come to our attention that there appears to be a number of queries and concerns raised within the community regarding the use of litter trays at West Monmouth School.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that we do not and will not be planning on providing any litter trays at school.

“Whilst we are an inclusive and welcoming school, we do not make any provision for any pupils who might identify as an animal of any kind.

“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable at school and as such, no provision is in place at school, such as litter trays.

A wide-view shot of teenage music students in a classroomA wide-view shot of teenage music students in a classroomGETTY

“Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.”

Torfaen Council said the letter was sent out after "rumours and misinformation” were spreading online.

Jason O'Brien, strategic director for children and family services at the council, added: “Torfaen Council is focused on pupil attainment and wellbeing.

“It's disappointing when schools are distracted from these priorities by having to quash damaging rumours and misinformation circulating on social media.”

A teacher and students in a classroomA teacher and students in a classroomPA

However, there has been an increasing number of reports about pupils identifying as pets.

Katharine Birbalsingh, who has been described as Britain’s “toughest” headteacher, warned in June that children identifying as cats are wearing “tails and ears” in class.

The Government also investigated Rye College in East Sussex after a 13-year-old girl was branded “despicable” by her teacher for rejecting her fellow pupil's request to be recognised as a feline.

But the school said in June denied it allows students to identify as animals, adding “no children” enrolled there “identify as a cat or any other animal”.

West Monmouth School

West Monmouth School


Ofsted later carried out an inspection of Rye College after an intervention by Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch.

An Ofsted spokesman stressed at the time it was not investigating “specific incidents”, claiming: “We considered the letter from the minister as a complaint, alongside others, and followed up with the school and other relevant agencies.”

A spokesman for Aquinas Church of England Trust, which runs Rye College, said of the inspection: “Ofsted has now visited the school and we of course fully supported and engaged with the process.

“More widely, we understand that draft guidance on gender identity in schools is expected to be issued by the Government soon and we would of course welcome what we hope will be clear and helpful guidance.”

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