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Oxfordshire CC withdraws transgender toolkit after girl's legal challenge

(86 Posts)
GruffaIo Thu 07-May-20 20:46:01

www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18434781.oxfordshire-council-transgender-guide-scrapped-girls-court-case/

13 year old girl's legal challenge. The High Court ruled that it was arguable that the toolkit was unlawful.

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 07-May-20 20:50:30

Judicial reviews dodged all round, which is unfortunate as this needs testing in court. However it's clearly proven that no one has the courage of their convictions or believes these are defensible and would stand up in court.

As usual the 'spokesman' is committed to gender questioning children, and female children aren't even mentioned, never mind considered. Whole issue demonstrated in one quote.

OhHolyJesus Thu 07-May-20 21:23:46

This is great but a big splash would have been good too.

It's still dominos.

wink

truthisarevolutionaryact Thu 07-May-20 21:32:16

If you know guidelines are legal and you know they benefit all children then you wouldn't withdraw those guidelines. Ever.

MindTheMinotaur Thu 07-May-20 22:21:45

Oxfordshire CC in the statement double down on transpupils being vulnerable and reiterate their support. No mention of girls. They resolutely do not give a shit about our daughters.

I remain extremely grateful to the girl who took this case to judicial review.

Apollo440 Thu 07-May-20 23:35:19

What happened to 'the council utterly refutes the claim that this put children at risk'?

If they believed any of it they'd defend it in court. It rather looks as if their bluffs been called.

Well, add that to Warwickshire and the CPS. Another domino falls. Hopefully they'll all withdraw their flawed guidance before we have to take them to court but will gendered intelligence and Stonewall change tack now?

Lordfrontpaw Fri 08-May-20 00:59:36

Good. Floodgates opened. Get the lobby groups out of schools now.

bd67thSaysReinstateLangCleg Fri 08-May-20 01:19:14

Buried iin that article: UK-wide guidance on transgender children being written up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

What will be in this guidance? We know that EHRC have been captured. [checks bank balance in case more digging is needed to challenge EHRC guidance]

WTFSeriously Fri 08-May-20 02:20:20

* Judicial reviews dodged all round, which is unfortunate as this needs testing in court.*

It shouldn't be underestimated the significance this case still has. Granting the JR shifts the dial on the risks faced by LAs using & supporting the guide in various forms as it's been determined that it's 'arguable that it is unlawful'.

As much as TRA want to think it's job done on policy capture in several domains, that doesn't count for much in the LA's legal departments risk assessing the continued support for these policies (that none of them have done due diligence on re CRIA, EQIA & PSED). The decision to withdraw the guide rather than defend it would have had input from their legal reps who will have assessed the likelihood of success in defending the guide in court. That they won't take this further means they know it's a risk & that is sobering for every other LA who thought their gold standard stonewall law was unassailable.

Seems all that diversity training they've paid handsomely for isn't much of a shield again legal challenge. Whodathunkit eh?

Gingerkittykat Fri 08-May-20 06:24:43

It says the guidance will be replaced by new national guidelines soon, does anyone know what the content of these will be?

Spero Fri 08-May-20 08:02:08

I think it's hugely significant they have dodged court. They were asked to reconsider their guidance some time ago and refused. They have clearly had some firm legal advice to tell them that fighting the JR will lead to expensive and public defeat.

So while it would have been amazing to see this play out in court, I think the impact is the same. The CPS caved, Oxfordshire followed - all must fall. Jenga warfare at its finest.

EHRC are definitely captured - the Chair is David Isaac, formerly of Stonewall. But hopefully they aren't stupid.

But many are watching now. If they churn out the same old nonsense, they will be challenged.

boatyardblues Fri 08-May-20 08:11:34

It’s great that LAs have been challenged on their discriminatory guidance and backed down. What depresses me is that it has exposed how little consideration girls’ needs were given and how willing public bodies were to steamroller over girls’ rights. If you gave it even a moment’s thought it was outrageous. I hope to God the blatantly discriminatory guidance isn’t replaced by more insidious, indirect discrimination. Eternal vigilance is called for!

LearningResearch Fri 08-May-20 08:18:14

Are lots of LEAs still using these? Should people be writing in pointing out these judgements?

WTFSeriously Fri 08-May-20 08:37:49

* Are lots of LEAs still using these? Should people be writing in pointing out these judgements?*

Yes. Anyone who lives in an LA using the same or similar guides should absolutely invoke the legal challenge & ask their own LA to withdraw the guides. Hopefully SSA will be working on this and strategising on how to tackle other authorities. I'd also say that if anyone else has a child who feels as strongly as the other 2 amazing teenagers who stood up for all girls' rights, contact SSA & see if they can help guide you through the approach necessary. It does seem to need an active case to push LAs to have to act, but if they get lots of people challenging why such guides are still being used/relied on in light of the SSA cases, while SSA find other girls willing to challenge other LAs, all that helps sharpen their focus on the risks they're exposed to in failing to act & remove the guides.

The EHRC are clearly not that confident in their school guide they intended to publish last autumn, otherwise as Spero says, they'd also be dealing with a challenge to it. If the TRA strategists have deemed it necessary to pass the buck to the EHRC re school guide, rather than take on the challenge of a JR, then the pressure on EHRC is greater now too. They're sitting on that guide for many reasons & the success SSA has had is certainly going to make them far more twitchy than they already were over that guide.

I cannot stress enough the importance of SSA's impact here. Every legal dept & legal advisor LA's rely on now have to factor SSA's success here into their 'prospects of success' evaluation. This is huge. Testing the law with an active case is still important, but equally, these victories still have as much of an impact on the level of risk LA's face by maintaining support & use for the same or similar guides.

Polynerd Fri 08-May-20 08:43:03

So how can we tell if our LEA is using it? Does a quick google reveal, or might they be buried?

TedsFederationRep Fri 08-May-20 08:59:29

It was hard to see why Oxfordshire seemed determined to stick to its guns once Warwickshire buckled on the same issue. I am pleased but like others, I would have welcomed the clarity of a judicial review to knock this on the head once and for all.

I doubt the EHRC will give up, though. It will be looking for some sort of workaround. That means more scrutiny and more challenges. It's like playing Whack-a-Mole.

Michelleoftheresistance Fri 08-May-20 09:02:32

Spero and WTF thank you, that's very interesting to hear.

Standing by with spade if the new EHRC guidance turns out to be as anti-female in fact as we know they would prefer for it to be.

Lordfrontpaw Fri 08-May-20 09:04:15

Parents also need to know who is coming into the school to speak to our kids. I found out (after) that ferret and vile came to speak, and also a person who talked about the trials of being a woman in business (you can imagine the itty bitty question I had for that person). I’m sure I saw a listed dates on twitter of a particular mermum doing talks in the coming weeks to girls schools.

I can’t abide the staff member who arranges the guest speakers at the school. He seems rather... ‘focussed’. No feminists/women role models ever invited.

MidCLegs Fri 08-May-20 09:06:43

Quick note as due to start work, but this document is important as it describes how/why the EHRC Guidance is flawed.
This is where we need Truss, Nicholson, Lucas etc to focus

https://uncommongroundmedia.com/the-2010-equality-act-is-being-undermined-by-official-guidance/

MrsSnippyPants Fri 08-May-20 09:08:55

twitter.com/resistersu/status/1258496113784623110?s=21

Upcoming speaking engagements with youth under 18

10 May..Wimbledon High School....London, England (Online)
14 May...Putney High School...Putney, London England (Online)
23 June..NewcastleHigh School for Girls...Newcastle, England (Online)

MidCLegs Fri 08-May-20 09:08:57

^^ I'm sure you clever lot know this already but others may have not

PetraDelphiki Fri 08-May-20 09:18:21

I do hope that none of the parents at Putney/wimbledon happen to watch or record the online ones....

I’m not a parent there but I know loads who are...any obvious places to look to see why this person should not be talking to the students? And so I’m prepared if they get to my school?

BINtersectionalFeminism Fri 08-May-20 09:45:32

Thanks for sharing MrsSnippy. Clearly a foot in the door with the GDST then. Why do girls need to know about the transgender community?

WTFSeriously Fri 08-May-20 09:49:02

* So how can we tell if our LEA is using it? Does a quick google reveal, or might they be buried?*

Maya did a thread on Twitter listing a number of other LA's using the same guide that's been ditched by Oxford. SSA I'm sure will have more details of others (or will be working on it) and TransgenderTrend I'm guessing will be aware of what is being used in many schools.

Look at LA websites & social media a/cs for details of their equality & diversity work & follow for details of what resources they are linking to. Where resources aren't publicly linked, look for anything online that mentions what LGBT schemes the schools are signed up to & check those groups' websites/social media for links to what resources they are using.

A lot of this stuff appears to be huge & overwhelming to tackle but it can be done. One frustration I've had with the recent spats in feminist circles is the fact that too much time & effort is/has been spent on procrastination over personal political integrity while the real progress is actually happening where those discussions are not relevant to the work needed & being done. It doesn't matter what your political leanings are when it comes to safeguarding & protecting the rights of children, especially girls. Getting caught up in tone policing or smearing & sneering at work others do - which is having an impact - is a waste of everyone's time. The work that the likes of SSA, Fair Cop, Maya, FPFW, TransgenderTrend, MBM, WGiS etc. are having on the ground is a far better way to focus & achieve gains that wrangling over internal party politics.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Fri 08-May-20 09:49:23

Agree about the desirability of a judicial review, but I'm sure this won't be the last LA that refuses to back down until dragged towards a courtroom.

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