Schools still might not have to tell parents if a child changes name as they're left to write own transgender rules

The Department for Education has been working on new guidance on trans pupils since April

Published

Schools will be free to continue setting their own policies on transgender pupils following another guidance delay from the Government.

The Department for Education (DfE) has been working on publishing national guidance for headteachers on transgender pupils since April.

Despite this, Whitehall sources have reportedly stated that this will not be ready for the autumn term.

The guidance is said to include clear instructions on keeping parents informed if their child wants to become known by a new name and gender identity.

Schools will also be advised on what changing rooms trans pupils can use, whether they are able to join single-sex school teams, and what uniform they should wear.

With this guidance yet to be published, schools maintain freedom as to how they deal with these issues.

Teachers have a legal duty to protect all pupils from discrimination under the 2010 Equalities Act.
Teachers have a legal duty to protect all pupils from discrimination under the 2010 Equalities Act.
Education Secretary James Cleverly has been told to 'rocket boost' plans to introduce guidance.
Education Secretary James Cleverly has been told to 'rocket boost' plans to introduce guidance.

Under the 2010 Equalities Act, teachers have a legal duty to protect all pupils from discrimination, but there is no national guidance on how to deal with a scenario in which a child says they want to transition.

It is understood that Education Minister James Cleverly, who took on the post after his two predecessors resigned within days of each other, is reluctant to bring through such a major piece of legislation before a new prime minister and Cabinet is appointed.

The guidance will require a sign-off from Attorney General Suella Braverman, and is not expected to be ready until next year.

Robert Halfon, the chairman of the Commons education select committee, called on the DfE to "get some guidance out for the autumn term".

He told the Telegraph: “I'm not quite clear why there needs to be such a delay, it's something that James Cleverly needs to rocket boost. They can always update it later. There's lots of anxiety for parents and families.”

Rebecca Bull, a workplace discrimination lawyer and co-founder of the Sex Matters campaign group, warned that parents will continue to be "kept in the dark" about pupils who tell their teachers they are socially transitioning.

She told the publication: "We’ve had teachers get in touch with us saying in some schools this is continuing to happen even now – children being transitioned socially without parental consent, and in some cases teachers raising safeguarding concerns about that and the school saying that they won’t inform the parents.

"I think they’ve got an incorrect understanding of their position and an incorrect understanding that socially transitioning children is actually setting them onto a medical pathway and they are not qualified."

A spokesman for the DfE said: "Schools should be a safe and welcoming space for all pupils, regardless of how they identify.

"We recognise that gender identity can be a complex and sensitive topic for schools to navigate, which is why we will be working with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to make sure we are giving the clearest possible guidance."