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NHS Transgender guidance for schools

(80 Posts)
QuarksandLeptons Thu 30-Nov-17 20:06:01

NHS Forth Valley have a document called ‘Supporting Transgender & Gender Variant Children & Young People - Guidance for Schools’

It’s a contradictory document, poorly written with whole sections that disagree with various pints. For example it talks about wanting to prevent sex stereotypes and how restrictive they are but then goes on to praise how brave it is to be trans, when it’s the most sexist thing in the works to say that someone who likes things traditionally associated with one sex is in fact born in the wrong body.

It’s all awful but has some particularly worrying sections, in particular a part on dealing with young children with learning disabilities, basically saying to guide them that only certain behaviour is appropriate for each of the sexes. I’ve attached the section.

It also says teachers should not tell anyone if a pupil says they are transitioning- including their parents or other staff members.

It has jolly part about girls binding their breasts, written as though this is something totally reasonable and healthy to do.

The whole thing is misinformed & doesn't reflect current science on the fact and boys and girls do not have pink and blue brains and therefore are born in the wrong body.
It wilfully leaves at risk children (autistic, sexually abused or depressed) without any support as it simply says accept any child who says they are trans and not to involve their loved ones or even any one else in the school who could help.
There’s evidence that often traumatised children use transitioning as a way to dissociate from themselves. This would no longer be picked up on.

This should not be anywhere near schools. I cannot believe the NHS is endorsing this anti-science trans propaganda that seeks to turn gender non conforming kids into permanent medical patients. And will also leave really vulnerable young people with no proper support.

Sorry that this is not edited and a bit ranty, I wanted to share it as I’m so horrified. Putting my baby to sleep so got to write fast and furiously in case he wakes!

QuarksandLeptons Thu 30-Nov-17 20:06:39

DJBaggySmalls Thu 30-Nov-17 20:16:41

Surely treating children with learning difficulties that way is abusive? Its very Kinder, Küche, Kirche.

Badgerthebodger Thu 30-Nov-17 20:16:56

I am so unutterably fucking livid about this. What, if anything, can be done? I’m fairly close to splashing this all over my Facebook and “outing” myself as GC but I know it would cause a very deep rift with a much loved sibling so I am trying to avoid.

norahnamechange Thu 30-Nov-17 20:26:33

There are major safeguarding issues in many of the 'trans guidance for schools' documents from transactivist pressure groups and others. They have obviously been written by people with zero experience of safeguarding issues and often little understanding of child psychology and child development.
You NEVER tell adults in schools to promise confidentiality. It's such a complex issue and most schools not only state this in every safeguarding document but also include this is pastoral care and confidentiality guidelines. You do not work alone when working with children and adolescents.
Serious case reviews (into child deaths) are littered with examples of professionals (not just in schools) deciding that they knew better than anyone else and failing to share information with others.
For groups like this to determine that gender non-conforming children should remain outside safeguarding and pastoral care procedures puts both children at risk of serious harm and professionals at risk of accusations of gross misconduct. It is that serious.

And in terms of not working with parents, again we have moved light years on from a position where parents are seen as the enemy. It is basic safeguarding training that children love even inadequate / abusive parents and while at times, the state has to intervene and remove a child, this is always a last resort. While these guidelines happily state:
*"It is important that if a child or young person does not want their
parents to know, the school must respect their wishes. Breaking confidentiality to inform parents may put the young person at risk in their own home"*
That is not the decision of a teacher to make! It MAY be the correct decision but it may not be. The matters have to be discussed in partnership and the risks evaluated.
We have not just randomly arrived at our safeguarding procedures - they have been developed following countless child deaths and instances of abuse. The arrogance of thinking behind these guidelines is breathtaking - and exceptionally dangerous.

norahnamechange Thu 30-Nov-17 20:27:53

Sorry for the rant but this is all so very dangerous - both for children and for adults working with them.

Bucketsandspoons Thu 30-Nov-17 20:32:43

I'm also livid and ranting at anyone who will listen.

It implies that kids with SEND are not able to develop their own sense of self and it explicitly advises that they are taught the 'gender they were assigned at birth' by specific boy/girl activities. (What are these then? Where's the dfe guidance on what boy activities are and girl activities? Who is going to decide that? And what do we say when we take an item out of a girl's hand or remove the frozen dress from a three year old boy?) And then when you've taught that, you then 'diversify'! How lovely! And explain that you may not agree with the 1950s box they've stuffed you in and encourage you to discover your 'true' gender.

Well what the actual fuck is that then?

How are children with SEND, who are trying to develop speech and language, social skills, early learning skills, walking, toilet training - supposed to get their heads around 'you MUST play with this - now decide whether your true inner self agrees?' Fgs adults can't get their heads around this bullshit, never mind small children with SEND!

I will be contacting the DFE to ask what exactly was the SEND teaching experience and professional educational qualifications of the person who wrote that little gem, and based on what research and literature?

Badgerthebodger Thu 30-Nov-17 20:34:19

Can anything be done Norah? Who would you report concerns to?

Bucketsandspoons Thu 30-Nov-17 20:35:56

And how precisely does this tally with the Foundation Stage curriculum which promotes free flow play and absolutely not restricted or enforced play activities. "Lily! You may NOT play with the superheroes, you are a girl. No, put those dinosaurs down and come back to the glitter at once or you'll have to go into time out."

LivininaBox Thu 30-Nov-17 20:44:27

And the disabled toilet should be renamed the unisex toilet to reduce the "stigma" for transgender pupils using the disabled toilet ...erm ...

WTAFisthisshit Thu 30-Nov-17 20:48:30

Seriously who is writing this shit and why? It has shades of Hitler youth

QuarksandLeptons Thu 30-Nov-17 20:55:59

It’s so utterly unflinchingly zealous. Honestly, I would take my child out of a school that taught this. No way, could you trust a school that has the complete lack of judgement to promote this.

I’m up for writing to whoever is most likely to effect change. Does anyone know who that might be?

norahnamechange Thu 30-Nov-17 20:56:28

These guidelines are promoted by three Scottish Councils. I might consider using their complaints procedures to ask why they are promoting guidelines that directly conflict with the Scottish Child Protection Guidelines:

These TG guidelines are immediately in conflict as when they say, don't share information with parents, the child protection procedures state:

Parental rights are necessary to allow a parent to fulfil their responsibilities,which include looking after their child‟s health, development and welfare, providing guidance to their child, maintaining regular contact with their child if they do not live with them and acting as their child‟s legal representative. In order to fulfil these responsibilities, parental rights include the right to have their child live with them and to decide how their child is brought up

Thermostatpolice Thu 30-Nov-17 20:57:56

This is appalling stuff indeed.

Surely the very best message for children with learning disabilities is that they are absolutely fine just the way they are? Whether or not their personality and interests align with sex stereotypes.

Badgerthebodger Thu 30-Nov-17 21:00:06

“Blockers are reversible” oh right you’ll have some clinical evidence to back that up yes? Girls binding chests might faint, not to worry, all perfectly normal. Mind how you go with school trips to any countries where they imprison/kill trans people. Oh and above all, don’t tell anyone.

Scabbersley Thu 30-Nov-17 21:00:39

*Please note: by age 2 or 3, a child starts to develop a sense of being a male or female. Some
children with a learning disability/additional support needs, however, may not develop gender
awareness at the same age and stage as their peers. It is important that children with ASN are
actively taught gender identity so that they understand the gender assigned to them at birth.
Conversely, this often requires blatant ‘boy/girl’ activities. However, once a child understands the
gender assigned to them at birth, teaching and practice can diversify to include non-stereotypical
approaches and allow the child to explore their True Gender identity.*


That is horrific

Badgerthebodger Thu 30-Nov-17 21:01:28

Thermostat that’s the best message for ALL children, SEN or not!

norahnamechange Thu 30-Nov-17 21:06:33

The Scottish guidlenes also state:
*Parents/carers, families and communities have the primary role in
safeguarding, supporting and promoting the wellbeing of children; parents/carers have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that their child‟s needs are met, and are often best placed to do so. Agencies and services should encourage and support parents/carers, families and communities in carrying out that role*.
It also states this;
All services that work with children and/or their carers are expected to identify and consider the child‟s wellbeing, and to share appropriate information with others collaboratively with the child, their family and other services.
There is no prior definition of what 'appropriate information' is. That's why nobody should ever decide in advance that any group of children particular behaviours are not signs of abuse. These decisions are complex and nuanced and it is the working together that enables everyone to work out whether a child is at risk or not.

So, in terms of Scottish safeguarding, there are clearly some aspects of the NHS Forth Valley guidelines which are at variance with stated safeguarding guidelines.

Tinycitrus Thu 30-Nov-17 21:21:31

Surely guidance like this has to go through an approval process?

norahnamechange Thu 30-Nov-17 21:28:20

Tinycitrus, sadly I suspect not.
The DfE also directs schools to transgender organisations in England who have similar guidance about confidentiality and parents. I don't believe that anyone from the DfE, NHS has ever quality assured the work they do in schools. If they had, these issues would not be in there.

WTAFisthisshit Thu 30-Nov-17 21:32:10

And this is another reason why academies are a seriously shite idea..... but that's a whole other thread sad

CappuccinoCake Thu 30-Nov-17 21:35:59

Gosh that's crazy!!

CappuccinoCake Thu 30-Nov-17 21:37:21

Are they seriously suggesting boys/girls toys and activities at 2/3?! Surely that's the opposite of what all the psychology and women's rights and not treating boys and girls differently has got us to!? Thats truly barking.

BrokenBattleDroid Thu 30-Nov-17 21:50:43

That's actually frightening shock.

It reads as if someone with a very polarised view has been allowed to write an opinion piece and then just have it published as factual guidelines.

Even if you don't disagree with the concept of transgender children there's some absolute garbage passed as fact there, plus much of it is completely flouting evidence from paediatric psychologists on managing gender dysphoria in children (from what I remember).

And even worse is the fact that an adult who doesn't know how to deal with a particular situation may refer to that document in good faith.

GardenGeek Thu 30-Nov-17 21:59:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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