Under consideration PE2001: Withdraw the 'Supporting transgender young people in schools' guidance from Scottish schools

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to withdraw the 'Supporting transgender young people in schools: guidance for Scottish schools' resource, and await the outcome of the Cass Review before developing a new resource.

Previous action taken

Safeguarding Our Schools Scotland has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley Anne Somerville, to highlight our concerns and ask that this guidance be withdrawn.

Background information

Dr Cass said in her interim report on how to improve services, provided by the NHS, for children and young people experiencing issues with their gender identity, “it is important to acknowledge that it is not a neutral act” to socially transition a child, there are different views on the benefits versus the harms and ‘better information is needed about the outcomes’.

The school guidance encourages teachers to affirm the social transition of children who say they are trans, to use their chosen pronouns and to avoid misgendering, alongside changing pupils' names and their sex on official school records. We are concerned about this affirmation first approach and the risks it poses to vulnerable children. Emerging evidence advises against this approach and recommends 'watchful waiting'.

Referrals to the Sandyford Clinic have rapidly increased from 37 in 2013 to almost 300 in 2018. In our view, there is little doubt that the schools guidance and affirmation first approach will contribute to further increases in referrals.

  • Created by E Phillips on behalf of - Safeguarding Our Schools - Scotland
  • Considered from 2 February 2023

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

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4,326 signatures