Schools do not have to accommodate the demands of gender confused pupils, England’s Attorney General has said.
Suella Braverman told The Times that teachers are under no legal obligation to use a child’s ‘preferred pronoun’, to allow boys to wear girls’ school uniform, or to compromise on access to single-sex toilets.
The chief legal adviser to the Government also defended the policy of Girls’ Day School Trust, introduced last year, to provide single-sex education for girls on the basis of biological sex only.
Legally a boy
Speaking to the newspaper, Braverman said: “Under-18s cannot get a gender recognition certificate, under-18s cannot legally change sex.”
Consequently, she stated: “A male child who says in a school that they are a trans girl, that they want to be female, is legally still a boy or a male. And they can be treated as such under the law.”
The Attorney General explained, on the basis of the law, schools “don’t have to say ‘OK, we’re going to let you change your pronoun or let you wear a skirt or call yourself a girl’s name’”.
Neither, she added, should a pupil who is biologically male, but claims to be female, be allowed “to go into girls’ toilets”.
Braverman continued: “There’s no duty on schools to compromise on single-sex spaces.
“From a safeguarding point of view you can argue that there is a duty on schools to preserve single-sex spaces, and ensure spaces are for biological females. I would extend that to school uniforms personally, I think the law allows schools to do that.”
She highlighted the importance of peer pressure in fostering gender confusion and said “teachers should be taking a much firmer line” on this, rather than adopting “an unquestioning approach”.
The Government’s top lawyer described the recent situation, where a female student had been bullied out of school for publicly questioning transgender ideology, as “outrageous”.
Earlier this month, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said parents must be informed if their child identifies as transgender at school.
Nadhim Zahawi told the Education Select Committee that “parents have to be front and centre” when children are making drastic decisions about their futures.
Committee member Dr Caroline Johnson MP had raised parents’ concern over biological male students being able to gain access to areas where “teenage girls are in a state of undress”.
Zahawi said his Department was looking at providing ‘clear guidance’ to address such issues in conjunction with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).