UK government expected to enforce cruel ban on trans kids in school sports, reports claim

Rishi Sunak at a press conference in a white shirt.

Children in the UK could be prevented from competing in school sports if they want to use preferred pronouns, according to leaked government policy guidance expected to be published this week.

The guidance is also allegedly set to prevent schools from letting pupils socially transition without permission from parents or guardian, effectively outing them to family members.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak previously suggested the government would make efforts to prevent children from transitioning in school without explicit parental knowledge in May after being urged to “protect children”.

A report from The Sun explains that, under the leaked guidance, heads of schools in England will be forced to routinely consult parents if a child expresses a desire to transition.

This allegedly involves any desire to be called another name, use different pronouns, or wear a different gendered school uniform.

None of these wishes would be permitted unless school officials are given the go-ahead by the child’s parents, and a child’s social transition would not be recognised by the school unless told otherwise.

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Even if officials are given permission, the policy allegedly orders schools to take a “precautionary” approach and are set to be urged to monitor trans children before allowing any further steps towards social transition.

Many have likened these new rules to Section 28, which prevented LGBTQ+ content being taught in schools between 1988 and 2000 (in Scotland) and 2003 in England and Wales.

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Sunak pledged to publish guidance on the approach to trans students after the right-wing think-tank The Policy Exchange published a report claiming that schools were compromising “fundamental safeguarding principles” by not informing parents of their child’s gender identity.

Its opening sentence – a foreward by ‘gender-critical’ MP Rosie Duffield – expresses several dosgwhistles, including that “children deserve to be children,” while calling students the trans community a “reckless experiment.”

The Policy Exchange made several recommendations in the report, arguing that schools should “automatically” inform parents regarding what it calls “feelings of gender distress.”

It also recommends preventing school officials from facilitating social transition and all-but entirely refutes gender-affirming care.

Government urged to reconsider plans

In a statement to Sky News in March 2023, Sunak said that parents need to “know what’s going on.”

“For me, the safety and wellbeing of our children is of paramount importance. And I’ve also been clear that parents must be able to know what is being taught to their kids in school especially on these sensitive areas,” he added.

Sunak was recently seen mocking trans women in a leaked video given to PinkNews.

But several charities, advocacy groups, and medical officials have urged the government to reconsider guidance that they argued would harm trans children.

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Author Harry Nicholas told PinkNews that being outed to his parents was incredibly traumatic since he was still coming to terms with his gender identity issues.

He said that he wasn’t ready to define himself, let alone define his identity to his parents.

“My mum was mostly worried about what being trans meant and what kind of life I would have. But now she’s so supportive.

“Now we have a fantastic relationship, I just wish those conversations had been made on my terms at a time when I was ready and not before I actually had the words and the language to speak about things.”

PinkNews has contacted the Department of Education for comment.

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