The Christian Institute

News Release

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

The Christian Institute has welcomed the long-awaited draft guidance for schools on gender-questioning children as a “significant step in the right direction”, but cautioned that the Government still has a lot of work to do to safeguard children.

Head of Education John Denning welcomed the pushback against trans-affirming ideology and the clarity that schools are not required to allow children to socially transition.

He highlighted three key statements:

Schools should seek parents’ views as a matter of priority, and give them ‘great weight’, if a child persists in a request for the school to make a change to accommodate a social transition.
Primary schools should only use sex-based pronouns, there are very few occasions in which a secondary school will be able to agree to a change of pronouns, and no teacher or pupil should be compelled to use preferred pronouns.
Schools must not allow access to single-sex toilets, showers and changing rooms designated for the use of the opposite sex.

He commented:

“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.

“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.”

When some educationalists have pushed back against gender ideology in schools, support from the DfE has been notably absent. Legal action was needed to get a parent governor restored to her role after she was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex ed policy at her children’s primary school. She is still awaiting the DfE’s response to her complaint submitted in June 2022.

87% of 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.

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.”

Notes for Editors:

In 2022 our 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.