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Telegraph article on the Kiera Bell decision

(30 Posts)
nevertrustaherdofcows Fri 04-Dec-20 16:29:09

www.telegraph.co.uk/education-and-careers/2020/12/04/light-keira-bell-case-schools-need-look-approach-transgender/

Pretty good, I thought

OP’s posts: |
BitOfFun Fri 04-Dec-20 16:39:11

Subscriber-only, gah! What's the gist?

nickymanchester Fri 04-Dec-20 16:55:53

It's behind a paywall

nauticant Fri 04-Dec-20 16:56:32

It's a series of questions to inform this readers, for example:

What did the ruling say?

The three high court judges found in favour of Bell. They said that children under-16 were unlikely to be able to understand the consequences of taking puberty blockers, which in the vast majority of cases lead to children taking cross-sex hormones, the effects of which are not reversible.

Much of it is focused on schools:

They will also need to review their use of external resources, many of which appear to tacitly or openly endorse the use of puberty blockers. Typical examples are the Trans Inclusion School Toolkit produced by the charity Allsorts Youth Project and the Cornwall Schools Transgender Guidance, both of which have been adopted, with minor variations, by some local authorities and schools. Widely-used guidelines from Stonewall and the PSHE Association (an organisation for teachers of personal, social, health and economic education) similarly discuss the use of puberty blockers. Trans charities Gires and Mermaids have provided training to teachers that talks about puberty blockers, with one Mermaids trainer describing them as “completely reversible” and providing “immense relief from the dysphoria”.

and it goes on to discuss the guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) about not using external providers who suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes is synonymous with having a different gender identity.

It's good. They've done their homework.

rogdmum Fri 04-Dec-20 17:06:20

Safe Schools Alliance have the text on their fb page.

It’s rather excellent.

I am just so furious right now. All of this was completely avoidable. All I can do is hope that this really is the start of the end of automatic affirmation in far too many schools. I’m absolutely incandescent at my daughter’s school. I have pointed them to so many robust sources and all they have done is ignore them, say it is “controversial” and stuck with the lobby groups who have no experience of child development etc.

Incandescent

nevertrustaherdofcows Fri 04-Dec-20 17:10:09

Who is Keira Bell – and what was her case about?

Keira Bell is a 23-year old woman who, as a teenager, felt uncomfortable with her female body and thought she might be transgender. At the age of 16, she saw a psychologist at the NHS Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), and was prescribed puberty-blocking drugs, which delay or halt puberty.

A year later, Bell was prescribed testosterone, and at 20, had a double mastectomy. The realisation that she’d made a terrible mistake led her to de-transition. She made a claim for judicial review against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, where GIDS is based, arguing that, at 16, she was not competent to consent to taking puberty blockers.

What did the ruling say?

The three high court judges found in favour of Bell. They said that children under-16 were unlikely to be able to understand the consequences of taking puberty blockers, which in the vast majority of cases lead to children taking cross-sex hormones, the effects of which are not reversible. In Bell’s case, for example, the testosterone may have rendered her infertile. For children aged between 16 and 18, the judges said that clinicians might consider seeking the authorisation of the court before proceeding with administering puberty blockers.

This is what the NHS then decided:

An NHS spokesperson said: "We welcome the clarity which the court's decision brings. The Tavistock have immediately suspended new referrals for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the under-16s, which in future will only be permitted where a court specifically authorises it."

Schools don’t give out puberty blockers, so how does this ruling affect them?

Although schools don’t prescribe puberty blockers, the ruling affects them in two ways. Many schools have pupils who identify as trans, and they will have to re-think the way they support those pupils. The new relationships and sex curriculum requires schools to teach about trans identities, so they will need to do so in a way that doesn’t contradict the High Court ruling.

How will it affect how schools support pupils identifying as trans?

The steep rise in the past five years of the number of pupils identifying as trans has been challenging for schools, and many have turned to external agencies, such as charities and lobby groups, for advice and support. These agencies usually advocate an ‘affirmation’ approach, which means automatically accepting the pupil’s new gender identity. This could include using their new name and pronouns and allowing female pupils to use breast binders. But affirming the new identity is the first part of a journey that could lead to a pupil taking puberty blockers, and then to irreversible cross-sex hormones. As the judges noted, once a child is on the first stage of the clinical pathway, it is “extremely rare for a child to get off it.”

Schools need therefore to consider adopting a “watch and wait” approach, which neither affirms the child as the opposite sex, nor attempts to force them to conform to sex stereotypes. So they could allow a boy to wear a skirt, for example, but not to use the girls’ changing-rooms.

They will also need to review their use of external resources, many of which appear to tacitly or openly endorse the use of puberty blockers. Typical examples are the Trans Inclusion School Toolkit produced by the charity Allsorts Youth Project and the Cornwall Schools Transgender Guidance, both of which have been adopted, with minor variations, by some local authorities and schools. Widely-used guidelines from Stonewall and the PSHE Association (an organisation for teachers of personal, social, health and economic education) similarly discuss the use of puberty blockers. Trans charities Gires and Mermaids have provided training to teachers that talks about puberty blockers, with one Mermaids trainer describing them as “completely reversible” and providing “immense relief from the dysphoria”.

How will it affect how schools teach trans issues?

This term has seen the introduction of a new relationships and sex curriculum in England, which requires schools to teach about sexual orientation and gender reassignment. Guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) in September has already warned schools not to use external providers who suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes is synonymous with having a different gender identity. They will now have to scrutinise externally-provided resources even more closely for suggestions that taking puberty blockers is an easy or appropriate route for gender-questioning children. Many schools will have the book Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? in their libraries, or will have shown the CBBC programme I am Leo, both of which offer sympathetic accounts of trans-identifying children taking puberty blockers.

How will this affect schools’ relationship with parents and pupils?

Schools may find themselves in conflict with parents and pupils who believe that the school should automatically affirm a child’s preferred gender identity. This will need to be handled sensitively.

What happens if schools don’t change their approach?

Ofsted will be alert to schools that breach good safeguarding practice, and may give schools an Inadequate rating if their approach to gender identity is considered inappropriate.

The ruling in the Keira Bell case opens the way for medical negligence claims against the NHS for prescribing puberty blockers to children. It’s not impossible that schools encouraging children on to a path leading to medical intervention will also find themselves on the receiving end of litigation.

OP’s posts: |
PearPickingPorky Fri 04-Dec-20 17:32:21

Very good news.

Its almost like some people were just waiting for the first green light to allow them to change direction.

ahagwearsapointybonnet Sat 05-Dec-20 00:03:16

I just came to see if anyone had posted about this yet. This is a stonking article and should be VERY good ammunition for anyone planning to raise these issues or discuss RSE plans with their school. It sets out very clearly the potential consequences for schools if they rush into affirmation or use dodgy RSE resources, and it specifically mentions some of the most dubious, and very widely used materials. I'm hoping to use it with our school, which uses materials based on one of those mentioned.

I also saw on Twitter that Jo Bartosch has something coming out in the Telegraph at the weekend (Sunday I think it said?); and when I went to read this article a trial offer popped up for one month free, then 3 months at £1 each before going to full price. So on the strength of these two articles, I think that justifies the trial period for me (and then will see after that).

donquixotedelamancha Sat 05-Dec-20 08:16:42

Ofsted will be alert to schools that breach good safeguarding practice, and may give schools an Inadequate rating if their approach to gender identity is considered inappropriate.

I suspect that this may be the single most effective way of removing the institutional capture.

If we could get Ofsted to look for whether schools are going beyond the NHS advice then schools will very quickly twig what is going on.

The vast bulk of schools overreact to every Ofsted initiative (from fear) and it I think it would quickly reduce the pushing of the affirmation approach to only a small number of hold outs where someone senior is a full on TRA.

Letters to the SS for Education, I think. The problem is that he's a chimp. On the positive side he likes headlines and this is an easy way to get them.

heathspeedwell Sat 05-Dec-20 09:59:43

The threat of Ofsted is such a useful tool for helping to prevent kids getting caught up in this trend. I'm going to share this article with my friends who are teachers.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 05-Dec-20 10:06:19

The threat of Ofsted is such a useful tool for helping to prevent kids getting caught up in this trend.

Not yet, I think. It's not something Ofsted would criticise. The key is getting Ofsted to see this as a priority.

ArabellaScott Sat 05-Dec-20 21:35:02

This judgement is going to reverberate very loudly for a very long time, everywhere.

Still stunned by it.

littlbrowndog Sat 05-Dec-20 21:39:58

Breaching safeguarding

We have sai£ this all along here

Cheers Lang

yourhairiswinterfire Sat 05-Dec-20 21:56:43

Widely-used guidelines from Stonewall and the PSHE Association (an organisation for teachers of personal, social, health and economic education) similarly discuss the use of puberty blockers. Trans charities Gires and Mermaids have provided training to teachers that talks about puberty blockers, with one Mermaids trainer describing them as “completely reversible” and providing “immense relief from the dysphoria”.

And yet we were constantly shouted at and told that Mermaids and Stonewall had no real involvement in schools hmm

Well we can see why there are so many children now apparently so ''afraid'' of puberty. I mean, it was blindingly obvious why it was happening, we just weren't allowed to say it, but here it is in black and white.

The championing of their use on CBBC was abhorrent too, was there ever any acknowledgment from them that that was wrong, or was it quietly brushed under the carpet?

FannyCann Sat 05-Dec-20 22:18:12

a trial offer popped up for one month free, then 3 months at £1 each before going to full price. So on the strength of these two articles, I think that justifies the trial period for me (and then will see after that).

For those in the NHS the telegraph had a generous offer.
Not sure if it is still accessible. You need to use your @nhs email address to access it.

https://telegraph.co.uk/customer/subscribe/nhs/?country=GB

PrawnofthePatriarchy Sat 05-Dec-20 22:32:40

I've been living with my parents out in the country most of this year after their health broke down. DF has the Telegraph delivered. It's too right wing for me but I have been pleasantly surprised by their coverage of gender issues and sometimes they're quite good on women's rights too. If only they'd stop with the Boris fanclubbing...

StandUpStraight Sat 05-Dec-20 22:50:36

Jo Bartosch has two articles in the Telegraph today - one an interview with Susan Evans, and another with a woman whose daughter was fast-tracked to GIDS and whose school did not tell her parents that they had begun to treat her as a boy.

www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/right-blow-whistle-tavistock-clinic-puberty-blockers/

www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/websites-tell-gender-dysphoric-daughter-get-testosterone-grooming/

Malahaha Sun 06-Dec-20 06:57:41

Sorry if this has been already posted.

Daily Mail article by Sarah Vine.

Again, common sense. www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9022297/SARAH-VINE-scandal-no-one-tried-stop-Keira-Bell-losing-womanhood.html

DickKerrLadies Sun 06-Dec-20 07:47:49

Ahhh I do love a bit of sunlight on a Sunday morning smile

Deltoids1 Sun 06-Dec-20 08:30:14

Cheering news on a dull and dismal Sunday.

EdgeOfACoin Sun 06-Dec-20 08:38:24

PrawnofthePatriarchy

I've been living with my parents out in the country most of this year after their health broke down. DF has the Telegraph delivered. It's too right wing for me but I have been pleasantly surprised by their coverage of gender issues and sometimes they're quite good on women's rights too. If only they'd stop with the Boris fanclubbing...

That's the worst thing about the Telegraph now.

It's lost all sense of perspective on Brexit and it can't report properly on Boris for all the fawning. My husband was starting to think about taking out a subscription to it, but the sycophantic coverage of Boris put him off.

I don't mind a right-of-centre newspaper (or, in times past a left-of-centre) but it can't be in the PM's pocket.

I agree it is good on the coverage of gender issues.

donquixotedelamancha Sun 06-Dec-20 08:44:15

If only they'd stop with the Boris fanclubbing...

In my youth I would read the Telegraph if I couldn't get hold of the Guardian because they both reported the actual news in a factual way (I'm that old) and separated out the comment (it was when the Times was shit).

I was most disappointed to pick the telegraph up a few years ago and realise it is just the Mail without the celebs in bikinis.

The Mail does good investigative work, the Tele can be good for depth of coverage and the Times is more balanced now. If I could find that in one newspaper I'd buy newspapers again.

Babdoc Sun 06-Dec-20 08:46:19

The Times is also excellent on gender issues - they have the brilliant Janice Turner - and they are much more balanced on Boris/Brexit etc. Readers looking for a suitable paper should give it a try!

donquixotedelamancha Sun 06-Dec-20 08:50:01

Daily Mail article by Sarah Vine. Again, common sense.

How often do those two go together?

Yet that article is utter common sense which anyone aught to agree with. A case like Keira's should not be controversial for any reasonable person- I don't see how TRAs can read about it and not agree it shouldn't happen again.

GrimSisters Sun 06-Dec-20 08:50:06

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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