Teachers encouraged to embrace trans guidance despite activist pressure

Teachers are being encouraged to follow the Department for Education’s (DfE) new guidance on how schools should deal with gender-questioning children, amid assertions from some activists that it should be ignored.

The guidance, which is undergoing a public consultation, has been largely welcomed as a key step towards ending the trans-affirming agenda pushed on schools in recent years by lobby groups such as Stonewall.

CI welcomes protections for children and teachers in new trans guidance but says the Government needs to do more

The document makes clear that: if a child wants to socially transition, schools should give “great weight” to parents’ views; schools must not allow pupils who say they are trans to use toilets and changing rooms of the opposite sex; teachers should use sex-based pronouns; and teachers and pupils should not be compelled to use a gender-confused child’s preferred pronouns.


However, some activists are unhappy at the new protections for children and teachers, and have said that they have no intention of following the guidance.

Kevin Sexton, head teacher at Chesterfield High School in Liverpool, said: “I’m going to do what I’d basically do now, which is to support the child, to work with the child to actually give them the confidence to tell their parents”.

Labour MP Kate Osborne called on schools to ignore the “cruel” guidance and “put their students’ needs ahead of this Government’s hate”.

Lobby group pressure

The widely discredited transgender activist group Mermaids called on its supporters to write to their MPs, urging them to put pressure on the Education Secretary to drastically overhaul the guidance.

It incorrectly claimed that referring to gender-confused children according to their real sex, or requiring them to use the sex-appropriate changing facilities and uniform, was ‘incompatible with equalities law’.

It also claimed the rules “would deny trans students the basic right to be safe and healthy at school”.

‘Helpful start’

However, the guidance has been welcomed by many, including Executive Director of the Association of Christian Teachers Lizzie Harewood, who called it a “helpful start”.

“It’s good news for Christian teachers, who would have found it really difficult to acknowledge a child’s new identity on faith grounds.”

Please accept preferences cookies to view this content.

But she said it did not ‘entirely settle the issue’, and that it is unlikely to restrain activists.

“I’ve already been reading some teachers who are saying that they will ignore parts of the guidance, and some schools saying that they will also follow suit. So that does concern me, although I do think, in general, it’s a step in a better direction.”

Compassionate safeguarding

Mrs Harewood added: “We have to remember as Christians, as teachers, as professionals, as human beings, that if there is a child presenting with confusion or quite clear gender dysphoria, we need to treat them with kindness, with compassion; that doesn’t necessarily mean affirming their chosen gender.”

Tanya Carter of Safe Schools Alliance said: “It’s about safeguarding young people, and teachers should always speak to parents. They should show professional curiosity and questions should be asked, exploring why a child feels the way they do.

“When it comes to sports, it’s not only about safety, it’s about fairness to all pupils.”

Fight against indoctrination

The Daily Telegraph’s Allison Pearson also welcomed the guidance, writing: “Activists from Stonewall and other gender-identity groups, who have been allowed to infiltrate our schools, are bound to fight this threat to their lucrative cult.

“One major obstacle to the guidance being followed is that many schools have themselves been schooled by Stonewall. Plenty are part of the Stonewall School Champions Scheme.”

She added: “At the very least, this guidance puts the UK at the forefront of the fightback against the indoctrination of children with fantastical theories and pernicious, family- and health-wrecking ideologies”, noting that “a girl who lowers her voice with testosterone and grows facial hair also potentially ruins her fertility”.

The columnist said the guidance would protect “millions of impressionable kids” and give parents “peace of mind that their children aren’t being inducted into some sinister cult at school”.

Parental love

In a statement following the guidance, Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch emphasised the importance of championing objective biological reality over subjective inner feelings about gender.

The principle of biological sex is real. Sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth. No child is born in the wrong body.

“The principle of biological sex is real … Sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth … No child is born in the wrong body. Some children may not like their body, and we should help them. But social transitioning is not a neutral act and should only happen in rare circumstances.”

And while some teachers have said they would continue to keep a child’s desire to transition a secret from parents, Mrs Badenoch said parents “should be included in all decisions relating to a child’s request to socially transition”.

She added: “No one loves children more than their parents and it is wrong to exclude parents from what can be a pathway to irreversible medical decisions.”

Also see:

CI: ‘Trans guidance for schools significant step forward’

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’

Related Resources