The UK government has issued new guidance for its schools and colleges to help protect transgender students and prevent bullying.
Key points:The government’s new guidance says schools and institutions should provide a safe environment for transgender students to learn and be acceptedSchools and colleges are required to take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to gender identity policyUnder the guidance, schools and schools-of-education should provide students with a safe and supportive environment, including access to appropriate services and facilities, guidance on how to address bullying and how to protect trans people from discrimination.
The guidance, which was issued on Wednesday, also includes a number of new recommendations for school staff.
It states that:”Schools, colleges and universities must provide a school-to-school or university-to the trans community, and to trans people in general.
It must provide students the opportunity to access appropriate and respectful gender-neutral facilities, and in the case of trans students, the opportunity for them to be seen by a teacher or other staff member who does not identify as a member of the gender that they were assigned at birth.”
The guidance also includes “safe spaces” for transgender people to be able to talk about their experiences and discuss issues relating to their identity and sexual orientation.
There are currently no guidelines for schools in the UK and the guidelines are yet to be adopted.
The government has previously said it would look at whether to extend the guidance to cover schools in England and Wales and Scotland.
The National Union of Students, which represents UK universities, said the guidance was “shocking” and “unprecedented”.
The NUS said it was “very concerned” about the guidance being issued, and that it “would be a dangerous precedent for schools and their staff to push transgender students away from the curriculum, and from safe spaces that they have long needed”.
The National Association of Head Teachers said the guidelines should be passed by schools and staff.
The NCA said it “welcomes” the guidance and would be supporting schools and other institutions in passing it.
The Department for Education said it had already begun to “develop and implement” a guidance for schools.
A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “We welcome the guidance from the Office for National Statistics on the risks and benefits of trans people living in the home.”
We have been clear that trans people have the right to live, learn and work in their own communities.
We have also said that it is not right that trans students are not allowed to access a school or college.
“This guidance builds on our guidance on bullying and hate crime, and is a significant step towards ensuring that transgender people can be fully represented in our schools and communities.”