NI sex ed guidance drops content on ‘trans 3-year-olds’

A statement that children as young as three can be transgender has been removed from sex education guidance in Northern Ireland.

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) said it had cut the paragraph from its online LGBT guidance for primary schools as it was based on poor quality research.

However, its website still directs schools to Education Authority guidance which claims three-year-olds can be confused about their gender, and promotes teaching resources provided by controversial groups such as No Outsiders.

Guidance update

The old CCEA guidance stated: “Research shows that transgender young people become aware that their assigned birth sex is different from their gender identity between the ages of three and five.”

Explaining its removal to BBC NI, the Government funded quango explained that it had been edited out when “quality assuring the site” as it “referenced research which is over 10 years old”.

The statement had been derived from a 2013 report about gender-confusion among young people in Northern Ireland based on interviews with just 55 people.

‘Dangerous and foolish’

Welcoming its removal, Sex Matters’ Director of Campaigns Fiona McAnena said: “It’s certainly progress that people are not being told that three-year-old boys know that they’re really girls. That’s just dangerous and foolish.”

But she described it as only the “first step in getting transgender identity ideology out of schools”.

Neither the CCEA materials nor the Education Authority guidance are statutory. All grant-aided schools are expected to develop their own policy on Relationships and Sexuality Education in keeping with their own ethos and can allow parents to withdraw their children.

The Department of Education in Northern Ireland is expected to release further guidance on Relationships and Sex Education in the near future. The Minister for Education in Northern Ireland has said he has asked his department to review the Cass Report.

Also see:

Stormont backs compulsory ‘inclusive’ sex ed across the Province

Abortion lessons in NI opposed by three in four

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

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