To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her Department's policy is on the referral by schools of children identifying as transgender to third party agencies, including those which offer assistance with medical transition; what guidance her Department offers to schools on such referrals; and if she will make an assessment of the potential liabilities to which a school that makes such a referral could be subject to in the event that those children subsequently decide to detransition.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance her Department provides to schools on supporting transgender children; what her Department's policy is on support for social transition within the school and other forms of affirming support for those children; and if she will make an assessment of the potential liability to which a school could be subject to in the event that a child who has received such support later decides to detransition and seek redress.
Currently, National Health Service England’s (NHSE’s) policy permits the Gender Identity Development Service to accept referrals from education professionals, as well as health and social care professionals. It is for schools to make decisions on these matters on a case-by-case basis, within the NHSE's guidelines.
NHSE is currently consulting on a new interim service specification for children’s gender identity services, which proposes to change the referral pathway so only GPs and healthcare professionals can make referrals to these specialist services. The consultation closes on 4 December 2022. Further details are available here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/specialised-commissioning/gender-dysphoria-services/.
The Department knows that issues around gender can be sensitive and complex for schools to navigate, which is why we are developing guidance to help schools to support pupils.
To develop the content of the guidance, Departmental officials are engaging with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHSE and will be undertaking a public consultation on the draft guidance before publishing in 2023.