Brighton is latest council to come under fire for controversial schools trans guidance

Parents in Brighton have criticised controversial guidance on transgenderism for schools which confuses children into questioning their biological sex.

‘Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit Version 4’, backed by Brighton and Hove City Council, is an update of the 2018 toolkit and is set to be published for use in schools in September. The guidance suggests the use of scripts for pupils claiming to be the opposite sex, with phrases such as “I have always been a boy/girl”.

Last year, a series of councils ditched similar transgender guidance amid concerns over their legality.

‘Deeply irresponsible’

Residents in Brighton criticised the updated guidance for still encouraging schools to allow pupils to use the toilet that “corresponds to their gender identity”.

One resident said: “They are kids being forced into questioning their identity when it hadn’t been an issue before. This town is obsessed with diversity.”

The Christian Institute’s Education Officer John Denning commented: “Putting words into the mouths of children, giving them a script to affirm that they ‘have always been a boy’, when in fact they are not, is deeply irresponsible.

Legal challenge

“Doing so could cement them in a pathway which it will be difficult to turn back from, potentially leading them to do great harm to themselves.”

Last spring, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Doncaster, Barnsley and Kent all ditched similar school guidance, including versions of the toolkit, amid legal challenges.

In March 2020, lawyers representing Warwickshire County Council told The Christian Institute that it was dropping its misleading All About Me programme after the Institute threatened legal action.

Safeguarding risks

LGBT lobby group Stonewall has also been criticised for giving hundreds of schools across the country “dangerous and unlawful” advice as part of its ‘School & College Champion’ scheme.

Schools pay up to £1,000 each to join the scheme, where they are given material saying that boys who claim to be girls should be allowed to share female toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation on school trips.

But barrister Naomi Cunningham said: “There is legislation that requires schools to provide separate toilets for girls and boys. So if a school allows a boy who identifies as female to use the girls’ toilets, it is in breach of the law.”

She added that there are “huge safeguarding red flags” over Stonewall’s advice that parents should not be told if their child claims to be the opposite sex.


Last month, national transgender guidelines which would have forced girls’ schools in England and Wales to admit boys were axed, following concerns they would be confusing and misleading.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission were set to publish ‘Trans pupils: guidance for schools’ in 2018, but postponed it after consulting with teachers and women’s groups.

Also see:

Kent and Barnsley join other councils in withdrawing trans guidance

Oxford Council drops controversial ‘trans toolkit’ after legal threat

Warwickshire council axes more controversial trans guidance

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