Trans inclusion in education
Merton's School Improvement (MSI) Service, along with colleagues in Wandsworth, are working with schools in a range of ways, to help them to support pupils who may be exploring their gender identity. This is part of the service's broader remit to support schools to ensure that all children and young people have an equal opportunity to access and achieve in education.
In a recent email to schools the MSI service circulated the fact sheet produced by MermaidsUK, the organisation which offers support and information for gender variant children and teens, their families and friends:
School leaders and staff are encouraged to read and discuss the information in the fact sheet which includes links to a range of online information and resources for schools and other professionals.
In addition to the fact sheet the MSI service has cascaded the following useful information to schools to provide context on this subject, and to highlight further training and support that will be available in the coming months:
- Not all gender variant children will grow up to identify as trans, but 40% of young people first thought they were trans aged 11 or under. (Metro Youth Chances 2014).
- Just over 9 in 10 LGBT+ young people report learning nothing about trans issues at school. Nearly half of LGBT+ young people say their time was affected by discrimination or fear of discrimination. (Metro Youth Chances 2014).
- Nearly 59% of trans young people had deliberately hurt themselves compared to 8.9% of all 16-24 year olds, and 48% of trans young people have attempted suicide. (PACE 2014)
Equality Act 2010
This act protects gender variant and trans children and young people with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. (See 'Mermaids fact sheet' for further clarification of this).
Ofsted School Inspection framework
Ofsted continues to evaluate how pupils benefit from their school paying particular attention to those with protected characteristics. Inspectors will also consider the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle prejudice-based bullying.
Training needs identified by Merton and Wandsworth schools
- ‘Information on support for trans pupils in primary school’
- ‘How to deal with confrontation/direct homophobia/transphobia.’
- ‘Parents who are unaccepting’
(Feedback from the Merton and Wandsworth Trans Inclusion in Education Consultation held in June 2017).
Staff training and the 'Trans Toolkit' for schools
Merton and Wandsworth local authorities are planning a training event for school staff to raise awareness of 'Trans Inclusion in Education' for the Autumn term 2017. The Merton and Wandsworth 'Trans Toolkit for schools' is being developed in consultation with professionals, and with children and young people, and will be available later in the year.
For further information and support on this issue, for details of the training event, and for an update in the toolkit please contact the lead officer on equalities in the MSI Service firstname.lastname@example.org.