National transgender guidelines which would have forced girls’ schools in England and Wales to admit boys have been axed following concerns they would be confusing and misleading.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) were set to publish ‘Trans pupils: guidance for schools’ in 2018, but postponed it after consulting with teachers and women’s groups.
The draft guidelines instructed single-sex schools to admit pupils who identified as the opposite sex, told schools to install gender-neutral facilities and to allow boys to participate in girls’ sports lessons.
Parents and academics had criticised the plans, saying it “shows what a mess we create when we conflate sex and gender”.
An EHRC spokesman said it has now decided not to publish the guidance as it “would not be in the best interests of young people” and “may not provide schools with the clarity we hoped”.
not in the best interests of young people
Last year, several English local councils withdrew controversial guidance on transgender issues in schools.
Warwickshire County Council axed its Relationship and Sex Education policy early last year, after The Christian Institute threatened legal action.
Among a “catalogue of errors” were assertions that gender identity “can be best understood as being a spectrum” and “transgender children have the right to use whichever toilet or changing room they feel most comfortable using”.
It also encouraged schools not to inform parents if their children are sharing rooms with transgender pupils and to conceal a child’s transgender status from their own parents, contrary to parental rights which are protected under the Human Rights Act 1998.
And Oxfordshire Council withdrew its ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ last May amid pressure from parents and a pending court case.
The publication said that boys who claim to be girls should be allowed to share female toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation on school trips. It also claimed that saying there are only two genders amounts to ‘transphobic bullying’.
The council’s climbdown came in the wake of the Crown Prosecution Service pulling its controversial LGBT hate-crime guidance for schools, following a separate legal challenge by a 14-year-old girl.