New school rules empower parents and protect teachers on gender identity issues

Parents will be given new rights to know if their child is demanding to be treated as a different gender in school.

Long-awaited trans rules published today will also give teachers protection from punishment if they misgender a boy or boy or girl – where they ask to be called by a different pronoun.

The guidance says there should be a presumption that children will be dealt with as they sex they were born as during school hours.

Headteachers will be told to take a “parents first” approach where they are told about what is happening with their child except in exceptional circumstances.

But the changes are not binding and the government’s top lawyer blocked an outright ban on schoolchildren presenting as if they are another gender in class.

A government source: “This Government firmly believes parents should be involved in decisions about their children and much more caution should be taken, so this guidance means there should effectively now be a presumption against social transitioning in schools.”

“Alongside this we’re giving much needed certainty and protection to teachers and pupils so they will no longer feel forced to use different pronouns for gender-questioning children, and won’t face a sanction for not doing so.”

“It is a complex and sensitive issue but we’ve taken the time to strike the right balance.”

Schools have faced huge difficulties trying to deal with the growing trend of pupils saying they are a different gender to the sex they were born as.

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Headteachers have been left to decide how their teachers deal with the issue while the guidance was drawn up.

But the rules have been repeatedly delayed as the government dealt with the “complex” issue and Cabinet ministers clashed over how tough the changes should be.

Maya Forstater, executive director of Sex Matters, said: “This guidance, though imperfect, sets the global standard for uprooting trans ideology from schools. “

“No other country that has allowed the trans lobby to dictate lessons and school policies has moved so decisively to reverse course.”

“Other countries can learn from the UK experience: it’s far better to keep gender ideologues away from education entirely, but if the moment for that has already passed, it is not impossible to push back. All it takes is political will – and courage.”

“That this guidance has taken so long to publish clearly illustrates the extraordinary grip of the trans lobby over the education sector. Its malign influence has created a school-to-clinic pipeline, with unscientific ideas about biological sex and the promotion of trans identities in teaching materials leading to gender distress in children, and knock-on impacts on the number put on a dangerous medical pathway in gender clinics.”

“The most important takeaway is that the normalisation of so-called social transition – lying about children’s sex – is indefensible within a school environment. Every child has a sex, which is fixed at conception and never changes. Schools that lose sight of this fact risk acting outside the law.”

A spokesman for LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall said: “This guidance, which we have not yet seen in full, needs to first and foremost make sure that trans and gender-diverse youth are supported to be themselves and have an environment where they can learn and thrive.”

“There is considerable evidence that social transition improves the mental health of trans children and young people, and from what we are hearing about this guidance their needs have not been properly considered.”

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