Schools will be given advice over what uniforms transgender pupils should wear and whether they should participate in single sex sports after teachers demanded clarity from the government.
The new government guidance is expected to offer headteachers clarity on the use of facilities and changing rooms, and provide more information on potential safeguarding measures.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is understood to be involved in discussions on the guidance, the Times reported, after it told the Department for Education it had received multiple emails from headteachers asking for advice on how to deal with transgender pupils.
It comes days after the Prime Minister jumped into the row over trans rights and said biological males should not be allowed to compete in female-only sports events.
On Wednesday, Boris Johnson also said that parents should have involvement at the very least’ in decisions made by children to alter their gender.
The new guidance, which will be made available to all schools, is understood to help clarify what teachers can do under equality laws when it comes to school uniforms, toilets and sports.
Schools will be given advice over what uniforms transgender pupils should wear and whether they should participate in single sex sports after teachers demanded clarity from the government (stock image)
This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson jumped into the row over trans rights and said biological males should not be allowed to compete in female-only sports events
A government source told the Times the purpose of the guidance was to end confusion about the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act and not to get involved in a ‘culture war’.
It comes after the EHRC published guidance for schools in 2014 and the Department for Education issued its own advice in 2020. The new guidance is expected to address how teachers should approach practical issues.
Mr Johnson has faced a Tory split over a ban on conversion therapy and backs making the ‘abhorrent’ practice of trying to force gay people to become heterosexual illegal.
But he has refused to extend the proposed ban on the practice to trans people – despite opposition from backbench MPs and the Scottish Tories.
Speaking during a visit to a hospital in Welwyn Garden City, the Prime Minister was asked about the therapy before launching into his views on trans people in general.
He said: ‘I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick-competent to take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments that they may have. I think there should be parental involvement at the very least.’
And he added: ‘I don’t think that biological men should be competing in female sporting events’.
He continued: ‘We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent. But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I’m afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.’
Labour’s Angela Rayner attacked the PM’s words, saying: ‘He throws his two pence in, causes so much damage and screw the consequences. I remain of the firm view Boris Johnson is a real liability.’
And he faced further criticism from Tory backbenchers over trans therapy. Gay MP Elliot Colburn said the row was ‘totally unnecessary and a massive own goal’.
Mr Johnson also said that women should have spaces in hospitals, prisons and changing rooms which were ‘dedicated to women’.
His comments came after controversy surrounding Emily Bridges – a cyclist who won medals at university level racing as a man before transitioning. She has announced she will start competing in female events.
The new guidance, which will be made available to all schools, is understood to help clarify what teachers can do under equality laws when it comes to school uniforms, toilets and sports (stock image)
Women and girls across Britain are dropping out of recreational sport because they are being pressured to compete against transgender women who are biologically male, campaigners have claimed.
Mr Johnson is facing stiff resistance from the backbenches over a decision to allow the practice of conversion therapy to continue for trans men and women, despite reluctantly agreeing to outlaw it for gay people.
In a messy double-U-turn last week he backtracked on a pledge to make the often religiously driven abuse illegal, only to swiftly revert to his original plan when faced with criticism.
The ‘therapy’ for trans people will still not be outlawed, in England at least.
Wales has indicated it could unilaterally move to bring in a ban. And the Scottish Tories have said they would support moves to make it illegal at Holyrood.
Sir Keir Starmer has said ministers should honour their promises to ban all forms of conversion therapy.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid defended allowing the practice to continue. When pressed on why a ban had been removed from the bill for the Queen’s Speech, he told Sky News: ‘When it comes to conversion therapy, it is absolutely right, as the Government has said, that we ban the so-called conversion therapy for LGB people. When it comes to trans, I do think that we need to be more careful.’