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Draft gender questioning guidance for schools

Last year the Government published its draft guidance for schools, ‘Gender questioning children: Non-statutory guidance for schools and colleges in England’. It applies to all schools, with the final version anticipated before the general election. So, what should schools consider whilst waiting for the government’s decision? Education and employment law specialist, Joanna Lada-Walicki, breaks down the main points of the consultation and outlines why, in the meantime, it is sensible for schools to take account of the guidance when making decisions relating to gender questioning children.

The five general principles
The biggest impact of the draft guidance relates to social transitioning, and it sets out five general principles intended to underpin the approach to be adopted by schools:
1. Schools and colleges have statutory duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
2. Schools and colleges should be respectful and tolerant places where bullying is never tolerated.
3. Parents should not be excluded from decisions taken by a school or college relating to requests for a child to ‘socially transition’.
4. Schools and colleges have specific legal duties that are framed by a child’s biological sex.
5. There is no general duty to allow a child to ‘social transition’…”

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