CI: ‘Trans guidance for schools significant step forward’

The Christian Institute has welcomed new guidance for schools on issues surrounding gender identity, but says the Government needs to do more.

The long-awaited draft guidance pushes back against trans-affirming ideology, and clarifies that schools are not required to allow children to socially transition.

The Institute’s Head of Education John Denning said the guidance is “a significant step in the right direction”, but said children are still lacking effective safeguards.

More deference to parents

The guidance states that if a child expresses a desire to socially transition in school, schools should seek parents’ views as a matter of priority and give their views “great weight”.

For primary schools, the guidance is clear that teachers should only use sex-based pronouns for children, even if they say they are the opposite gender, adding that in secondary schools there are very few occasions when a school will be able to agree to a change of pronouns.

It added that no teacher or pupil should be compelled to use preferred pronouns, and also stated that schools must not allow access to single-sex toilets, showers and changing rooms designated for the use of the opposite sex.

‘Long past time’

John Denning said: “It was already long past the time for the Government to act when the Prime Minister promised guidance for the summer term 2023.

“No child is born in the wrong body and schools should not be teaching them that they can be or treating them as if they are.

“The new guidance is a significant step in the right direction. It finally dispels the dangerous ideas that schools should hide a child’s gender confusion from their parents or allow girls’ changing rooms to be accessible to boys.

“Teachers and pupils alike will also welcome the protections against compelled speech. No one should be forced to use pronouns they know to be false or mislead children in their class.”

Robust implementation

He continued: “But whilst the guidance is welcome, its effectiveness will only be seen in how robustly it is implemented. Ofsted, which has championed transgender ideology, now needs to ensure activist teachers no longer get away with encouraging gender confusion.

“For years, LGBT lobby groups have been pushing local authorities and schools into adopting policies, some of questionable legality, that led them to affirm children and young people in their imagined gender.

“Statutory guidance instructing schools to integrate LGBT issues – including ‘gender identity’ – into RSE, and limiting the parental right of withdrawal, has created a space in which many schools promoted transgender ideology, sometimes to children as young as five.”

Lack of support

Support from the Department for Education has not always been forthcoming when some educationalists have pushed back against gender ideology in schools.

When a parent governor was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex ed policy at her children’s primary school, legal action was needed to have her restored to her role. She is still awaiting the DfE’s response to her complaint submitted in June 2022.

Almost 9 in 10 secondary school teachers say they have at least one pupil who identifies as transgender. As concerns about this have become more and more widely shared, schools have faced increasing pushback against the position many had adopted under the influence of LGBT groups and have increasingly felt the need for Government guidance so they know where they stand.

‘First tell no lies’

Mr Denning concluded: “Just as medical professionals must ‘first do no harm’, so education professionals must ‘first tell no lies’. When girls think they have a male gender, or boys think they are really girls, the only kind response is to help them to be reconciled to the truth about their bodies.

“To affirm their confusion is to encourage them to reject their bodies and embark on what can be a deeply harmful course, leading in some cases to permanent and profound damage to their bodies and future lives and relationships.

“It affects not only them as individuals but other pupils. We are regularly contacted by teachers under huge pressure to affirm a falsehood and insist to other children, sometimes as young as four, that another child is a girl, when they are a boy.”

Last year, The Christian Institute’s Education Department helped more than 200 Christian parents, teachers and school governors with tailored, practical advice on dealing with issues including the Equality Act, sex education, Religious Education and LGBT ideology.

Also see:

House of Lords hears how trans ideology in schools threatens safeguarding

Parents convince school to think twice about teaching 9-year-olds LGBT ideology

‘Trans teddy’ tells school children you can be ‘born in wrong body’

MP:’Gender ideology in sex education has harmed thousands of kids’

DfE reinforces importance of teaching biological sex

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