Schools: Gender Recognition

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish new transgender guidance for schools; and when such guidance will be available.

Photo of Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government which Government department is responsible for the policy contained in guidance and reports on transgender education in schools.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department continues to work closely with the Government Equalities Office to understand developments in this area, including non-departmental guidance and reports, and consider how government can best support the school sector.

We recognise that these are complex and sensitive matters to navigate, and schools are best placed to work with parents, pupils and public services to decide what is best for individual children – and what is best for all others in the school.

To note, the department has published guidance to help schools understand how to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.

In relation to teaching, the department has recently published implementation guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). This sets out that all resources used in teaching about gender and biological sex should be age-appropriate and evidence based. Teachers should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests, or the clothes they prefer to wear – they should of course always seek to treat individual students with empathy and support.

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