Government guidance to force teachers to out trans kids to parents

Gilian Keegan, in a navy blue dress, walks towards number 10 downing street by nearby foliage, which is blurred in the background.

Teachers who become aware that a child intends to transition will be expected to tell their parents, the UK government’s long-awaited guidance on the topic is expected to say.

After months of speculation, the government is expected to issue guidance this week on how schools should respond if a child says they plan to socially transition.

According to The Guardian, teachers in England will not have to “out” children to their families if they are simply asking questions about gender identity – the Tories’ right-wing faction apparently pushed to make this a feature of the guidance.

In the end, the government seemingly decided that children asking questions about gender at school was fine – but the guidance will draw the line at transition plans.

“Children can be very confused about these things and just want to have a conversation about it and what it all means with a trusted adult,” a government insider told The Guardian.

“That shouldn’t necessarily mean it is automatically flagged to parents.”

You may like to watch

Tories initially wanted to ban social transition at school

The guidance is set to be issued after months of delays, leaks and backlash from both those in favour of improving trans rights and those opposed.

The government’s schools guidance first made headlines months ago when it was reported that ministers wanted to ban social transition in schools entirely.

Social transition generally refers to changing a name, pronouns or presentation – a young person who does so may dress differently, but social transition varies from person to person.

However, after months of internal wrangling – and warnings that doing so could be unlawful – ministers apparently realised that they would have to introduce new legislation to ban social transition in schools.

A Tory insider told The Guardian that women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch “was not planning any change” to equalities legislation but that she “would generally like to go further” on the guidance.

However, they said she is not currently planning on amending legislation.

“If you open up the equalities act then lots of other groups would want to make changes and you’re also likely to have people pushing for stronger protections on trans issues than we already have,” an insider said.

In addition, the government’s guidance is expected to advise schools that they should have separate toilets and changing facilities for boys and girls.

However, another part of the guidance has been dropped – the government reportedly wanted the guidance to say that children who want to socially transition should have to see a doctor before doing so. That will no longer be a part of the guidance after the NHS said it didn’t have capacity.

Please login or register to comment on this story.