EHRC calls for ‘urgent clarity’ over schools’ trans guidance

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has urged the Government to hasten its delayed trans guidance for schools in order to provide “much needed clarity for schools and families”.

In a letter to campaign group Sex Matters, the equalities watchdog revealed that it had contacted the Department for Education (DfE) over the issue and expects a consultation on the upcoming guidance “shortly”.

The EHRC also admitted that it is reviewing the “inaccuracies” in its own 2014 guidance for schools, which claimed that teachers who affirm a gender-confused pupil’s biological sex and name would be guilty of direct discrimination.

‘Rapid review’

EHRC Chief Executive Marcial Boo explained: “We recognise that since that time, several areas of policy and law, including in particular considerations around sex and gender such as those you raise, have evolved.

a major failure of safeguarding

“We are currently undertaking a rapid review of this guidance, and intend to publish a revised version, correcting the inaccuracies which have been highlighted to us, within the coming weeks.”

Until the DfE publishes its guidance on how schools should address transgender issues, the EHRC’s guidance remains the only official advice to teachers on the issue.


Writing in The Critic, Conservative MP Miriam Cates criticised the Government for delaying its guidance over legal concerns while “children are being harmed”.

“The fact that schools — which have a legal duty to protect children from harm — are endorsing the social transitioning of children in their care should be seen as a major failure of safeguarding that requires Government action.”

She added: “It is surely the DfE’s duty to publish clear guidance without any further delay, and if this is followed by a Judicial Review then so be it.”

Social transition

Earlier this month, Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch rejected claims that legislation is required to prevent schools encouraging children to ‘socially transition’ while at school.

It followed Attorney General Victoria Prentis’ suggestion in July that proposed guidance from the DfE would require changes to equality law.

The DfE guidance on how schools should address transgender issues has been expected to clarify that schools should not treat gender-confused children as if they are the opposite sex. It was due to be released before the new term, but it has been delayed amid reports of disagreement within the Cabinet.

Also see:

MP: ‘Parents must not be sidelined over NI’s pro-abortion sex ed’

Teenage students petition PM to protect single-sex spaces in school

Christian MP urges schools to reaffirm the ‘simple truth’ of biological sex

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