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Concerning tweet from a mum of a disabled child regarding their care at school.

(40 Posts)
yourhairiswinterfire Wed 04-Nov-20 01:33:36

mobile.twitter.com/Womankind15/status/1323621958886580224

I've looked for a thread but couldn't see if this has been posted. The mum of a disabled child that attends a special needs school has been contacted to say that parents no longer have the right to request a same sex staff member help their child with their intimate care, and the school have removed the "cross gender" consent part from their policy.

Because the school wants to be diverse hmm

Someone please tell me this isn't legal. This absolutely can't be legal.

OP’s posts: |
Gingernaut Wed 04-Nov-20 01:43:34

Sorry, I'm blocked for some reason.

cabbageking Wed 04-Nov-20 02:07:44

There is no right to the same sex but changing their policy doesn't mean they can ignore the childs right to dignity. Had she checked there is any change in the person delivering the care?. There should be a discussion about who it is and I would expect the same sex.

We don't specific any sex in our intimate care policies because any decision is based on agreement with all. what might be acceptable to one child and parent is different to another family.

Aesopfable Wed 04-Nov-20 08:18:32

The child (and parent acting on their behalf) has an absolute right to refuse intimate care from anyone - including cross-sex carers if they wish. Ignoring this would be criminal assault.

ThatIsNotMyUsername Wed 04-Nov-20 17:41:43

Surely it’s sex not gender. Children need the best care for them - and if they/their parent feels that a carer of the same sex is the best for the child then how can they say ‘I’m not telling’?

yourhairiswinterfire Wed 04-Nov-20 17:52:18

Aesopfable

The child (and parent acting on their behalf) has an absolute right to refuse intimate care from anyone - including cross-sex carers if they wish. Ignoring this would be criminal assault.

I've just seen Baroness Nicholson has offered to help the mum. BN also replied to Transgender Trend who said as much, that it would be assault.

OP’s posts: |
yourhairiswinterfire Wed 04-Nov-20 17:55:33

ThatIsNotMyUsername

Surely it’s sex not gender. Children need the best care for them - and if they/their parent feels that a carer of the same sex is the best for the child then how can they say ‘I’m not telling’?

Yes, I think they mean sex but are using gender. I wonder whose guidance they've been reading...

OP’s posts: |
ArabellaScott Wed 04-Nov-20 17:57:17

Here's a screenshot of the letter, taken from the tweet.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 04-Nov-20 17:59:12

That’s terrible. But are we sure the tweet is accurate? Her words in the tweet say parents can no longer request same sex carers for intimate care. But the image of the letter she posted merely says they’ve removed the cross-gender consent from their policy.

So, the part she posted doesn’t say that parents cannot request same sex carer? I’d like to see the actual policy because some schools do not allow cross gender care AT ALL so their policies wouldn’t have a cross gender consent in them either.

ArabellaScott Wed 04-Nov-20 18:01:43

Yes, I think more info on this is needed, Plan.

EyesOpening Wed 04-Nov-20 18:18:08

ThatIsNotMyUsername

Surely it’s sex not gender. Children need the best care for them - and if they/their parent feels that a carer of the same sex is the best for the child then how can they say ‘I’m not telling’?

If they don’t want to reveal that info then quite simply, they can’t do (that part of) the job! The child must come first FFS

EyesOpening Wed 04-Nov-20 18:29:36

That comment also says “to suit all” except it doesn’t suit the mother, so it’s a no go

Deltoids1 Wed 04-Nov-20 18:37:09

I have a disabled child at special school. I would be kicking off like mad at this! As a parent of a special needs child you have to completely trust the school and the staff with your child. As soon as anything erodes that trust, the relationship is broken.
My child is non-verbal. She cannot tell me if anything is amiss. I have to trust the school is treating her properly in self-care tasks.

I would genuinely distrust the motives of whoever at the school thought this was an appropriate policy and would be flagging it up to the local safeguarding board.

ThinkWittyThoughts Wed 04-Nov-20 19:14:33

According to the Twitter thread, that letter was written by the school safeguarding lead!

MrsSlocombesPussy Wed 04-Nov-20 20:53:11

There's an update, I really feel for this woman and all the children at this school

https://twitter.com/womankind15/status/1323948950777434112?s=21

MrsSlocombesPussy Wed 04-Nov-20 20:55:23

Here's a screenshot

yourhairiswinterfire Wed 04-Nov-20 21:12:04

MrsSlocombesPussy

There's an update, I really feel for this woman and all the children at this school

twitter.com/womankind15/status/1323948950777434112?s=21

Oh God, this is awful. Some children, as Deltoids pointed out, won't be able to communicate should anything happen sad

And staff refusing to disclose their gender, really hmm They have no fucking right being around vulnerable children if they're not honest. How the hell does an adults feelings trump the needs of vulnerable children?

OP’s posts: |
ThatIsNotMyUsername Wed 04-Nov-20 21:14:25

But gender is obvious as it seems to be merely a collection of stereotypes. Sex is a little harder to hide but still...

Coconutmeg Wed 04-Nov-20 22:05:54

Not many men in jobs which provide personal care.
I’d be surprised if there’s enough for a same sex policy.
I can imagine the few men working in the school just spend all the time doing personal care.

BrassicaRabbit Wed 04-Nov-20 22:17:46

My experience of working in a special school was roughly 75% of the pupils were male. And probably about 30% of the staff. So, although that's a lot more male staff than in a mainstream school, they did spend their time doing more personal care than the female staff.

We had several girls where sexual abuse (outside of school) was suspected but never proved. Depressingly common in this population.

It simply wouldn't have been physically safe for some of the female staff to provide personal care for some of the older male pupils. A change of gender ID would have made no difference.

I'm very surprised to hear about this school. The staff involved don't sound like the kind of people I worked with. It's such a full on environment. 100% about the kids. And a lot of safeguarding training.

ifchocolatewerecelery Wed 04-Nov-20 22:27:33

Not sure how that works given that it's an adult you can legally refuse to hire a carer of the opposite sex to help with your personal care.

MrsFionaCharming Thu 05-Nov-20 01:24:25

Whenever I’ve started a new job, a copy has been taken of my passport to prove right to work. Presumably this could also be used to determine sex in those who won’t disclose their gender?

justicedanceson Thu 05-Nov-20 01:38:42

This is awful. I've provided intimate care for non verbal children. Honestly I can't think of a more vulnerable group. We were a mixed sex staff team but we respected children's parent's beliefs and preferences. Mostly they didn't mind who provided care for their child but if they did we would respect that.

Lots of wonderful and caring gay men (maybe 20% of the staff) worked in both special needs schools that I taught at. So understand the need to be an inclusive employer. Overriding the reasonable requests of parents isn't being inclusive. I can't imagine any of my colleagues making such a stand when parents are just ensuring basic respect and dignity. I don't see why this is causing such an issue for the school. Surely any reasonable trans person or court would understand the need to respect requests for same sex care, and realise that the right to change a child's nappy or help them in the loo isn't a hill worth dying on and maybe isn't all about them.

justicedanceson Thu 05-Nov-20 01:41:06

Sorry realised my last post made it seem like I was conflating gay men and trans women. I wasn't intending that. More just that special needs schools have a diverse workforce. So I can imagine are likely to have trans employees.

justicedanceson Thu 05-Nov-20 01:43:57

Coconutmeg

Not many men in jobs which provide personal care.
I’d be surprised if there’s enough for a same sex policy.
I can imagine the few men working in the school just spend all the time doing personal care.

That isn't my experience of special schools. Quite a high number of men. My class team was 50-50 male and female staff. Almost always each class would have at least one man and they did provide personal care as well as the women.

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