Any update on Girl Guiding?

(28 Posts)
highame Mon 04-Jan-21 07:52:48

I was wondering if there had been any changes (that I might have missed) on girl guiding and safeguarding. It occurred to me that after Keira and Liz Truss with single sex spaces, Girl Guiding might be having a look at their policies.

Katie Alcock's case is still going ahead (?) so I suspect no change yet.

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Mon 04-Jan-21 08:29:37

I'd love to know also, and how Sonia Appleby, David Bell and James Caspian are getting on.

Place marking x

gardenbird48 Mon 04-Jan-21 09:29:34

www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/running-your-unit/including-all/supporting-trans-members/

I’ve had a quick look at their policy which hasn’t been updated since 2019. They mention a number of times that they are girl only and that they use the EA 2010 single sex exemption BUT they define ‘trans girls’ as girls and are clear that it means mtf transition (I did hope it meant ftm but no).

So no change there.

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 10:00:53

Ooh thanks for the question - I only noticed it because one of my fellow Resisters messaged me (Oh and I have updates on my page, which you can Google).

My case is waiting for Maya Forstater's case to go to appeal, which is happening this spring.

I've recently ventured onto Twitter which has been fun and revealing (I have been on as a mum before but not as me, IYSWIM) - I've been discovering the joys of muting "phrases when not written by people I follow". I'm @wontsomeonethi2
It's been a great opportunity to digest some of the research and ideas e.g. "What rights don't trans people have?"
threadreaderapp.com/thread/1328710113667018752.html

(written before the Keira Bell ruling)

On puberty blockers for precocious puberty (hint: everything in the garden isn't rosy)
threadreaderapp.com/thread/1336265436237864963.html

On what a proper support service for gender dysphoric children and teens would look like:

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1334077864636002304.html

Right, back to ridding my email inbox of spam and supervising my DCs in their unscheduled "inset aka how can we make the school safe in a Tier 4 area oh dear perhaps we cannot" day.

Imnobody4 Mon 04-Jan-21 10:06:29

Katie Alcock's case is waiting until Maya's appeal has been heard. However the last report from July 29, 2020 shows they are showing no signs of backing down.

One of things that stood out for me was the way that Girlguiding is dealing with the case. I was represented on Monday by my barrister. To keep costs down, and because the matters were straightforward, my solicitor decided it wasn’t necessary for him to attend, so it was just Adam. Given how the hearing went, that decision was definitely the right one.

But facing my barrister, on behalf of Girlguiding on the other side were:

One QC (“silk”)One non-QC barrister (but a pretty senior one – 29 years experience as a barrister and, I am told, extremely well-respected in her field)Three more (!) lawyers or paralegals of one form or another from Girlguiding’s solicitors.

Before hearings like this, both sides have to send in a costs schedule – basically a spreadsheet which sets out the costs the lawyers are charging their clients, so that the successful party can have their costs paid by the losing party at the end of the hearing. Ours came to just over £6,000. The Court ordered Girlguiding to pay most of this - £4,800 - back to us to be used later in the case (I am told that the Court only rarely orders the full amount of costs to be paid – it’s part of the policy of dissuading people from going to court where it can be avoided and so easing the pressure on the Courts system).

In comparison to our costs of £6,000, Girlguiding’s cost schedule showed that they had incurred costs for preparing and attending the hearing of nearly £33,000! Added to the amount they have to pay back for my costs, this means that the three hour hearing on Tuesday cost Girlguiding over £40,000, for which they got – well, nothing really.

But that’s not all. Girlguiding’s lawyers also submitted costs schedules for the work they have done on various other bits of the case up to now. This shows that they already spent £45,057.56 (not including the £4,800 they now need to repay to me) just on various procedural applications and the short hearing on Tuesday. As well as paying for drafting their defence, they may have spent nearly £100,000 so far, and we’ve not even really started yet.

If I lose – and I might, this is complicated law, and nothing is certain – I could be liable for their costs. Not for the £33,000 they would have claimed for Tuesday’s hearing if they’d won – that’s gone now, thankfully, because they got nothing they were asking for. But if they carry on like this, it’s likely that costs will continue to rack up on their side as the case progresses.

despairenting Mon 04-Jan-21 10:06:39

I thought they had said before that a trans boy would be asked to leave if expressing intention to transition, but this approach seems sensible and compassionate:

As a girl-only charity we accept young members who are biologically female (under the protected characteristic of sex) and those whose gender identity is a girl or woman (under the protected characteristic of gender reassignment). This means that we would accept trans boys as new young members based on their sex.

www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/running-your-unit/including-all/supporting-trans-members/supporting-trans-young-members/

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 10:19:22

I thought they had said before that a trans boy would be asked to leave if expressing intention to transition, but this approach seems sensible and compassionate:
They only changed that policy after expelling Helen Watts and me, when we made a huge fuss about it being unlawful to "suggest" that transboys leave.

Transmen still can't be leaders, even if they are still legally women, and neither can any adult woman who does not hold the gender identity of "woman".

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highame Mon 04-Jan-21 10:19:50

It will be very interesting to see what happens in Scotland when 'woman' is defined by the courts. This whole thing is a real mess and I fear will become even messier when adding non-binary into the equation.

I wonder if the politics of the individual may well be showing how impossible it is

OP’s posts: |
UppityPuppity Mon 04-Jan-21 10:19:53

BUT they define ‘trans girls’ as girls and are clear that it means mtf transition (I did hope it meant ftm but no).

The inclusion of boys is madness but the GGs are also excluding actual girls in a bid for inclusivity??!!! Beyond WTF.

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 10:21:08

They are not excluding biological girls but they ARE excluding biological women from leadership roles.

midgebabe Mon 04-Jan-21 10:22:17

But I thought you have to be over 18 to get gender reassignments

UppityPuppity Mon 04-Jan-21 10:26:25

They are not excluding biological girls but they ARE excluding biological women from leadership roles.

Girls - good.

Women - As in how you have been excluded or in other ways?

Kendodd Mon 04-Jan-21 10:29:44

Does this mean the leaders can by mtf trans women? ie. Fully intact biological men?

Q. If someone legally transitioned and changed their name, does this complicate DBS and background checks?

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 10:31:53

@UppityPuppity read above - you can't be a leader if you don't actively identify as a woman.

@midgebabe gender reassignment (the protected characteristic) applies to anyone who is planning to/going ahead with transition "to the other gender" so it applies to children too. Children cannot legally become the opposite sex but they can have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. This is good because it should mean that a girl who identifies as trans can't be told "no, you can't be on this girls' rugby team" but in practice lots of organisations think it means you can't tell a boy who identifies as trans "no, you can't be on this girls' rugby team".
So it should also mean that a woman who identifies as trans (or who has not gender identity because it's a load of rubbish) should be OK to be a GG leader but they have cut this off.

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 10:38:11

Kendodd

Does this mean the leaders can by mtf trans women? ie. Fully intact biological men?

Q. If someone legally transitioned and changed their name, does this complicate DBS and background checks?

Yes, leaders can be men who identify as women and who have no GRC and no medical transition. I wonder what would happen if some Brown Owl's husband decided to sign up without any outward sign of transition... I do wonder...

If someone legally transitions then their DBS (I have read this but cannot remember where) goes on their NI number so any previous names will be uncovered even if they do not declare them. I am not sure this is really an issue as much as "everyone who commits a crime does so for the first time, once" and "a DBS only picks up what you've been caught for" and of course crucially "men are an order of magnitude more likely to be abusers than women and GG already has robust separate safeguarding procedures for men but doesn't apply this if they say they are a woman".

despairenting Mon 04-Jan-21 10:50:13

@KatieAlcock

Oh, that seems less sensible and compassionate. Still glad they're not blanket-excluding female children exploring their gender identity though.

I'm less keen on the whole 'trans girls must be able to use the same sleeping and showering facilities as the girls' thing as I highly doubt they'd listen to any girl who raises an objection or is uncomfortable, but realistically if they're going to accept trans girls then they can hardly tell them they have to sleep and shower elsewhere.

Kind of pleasantly surprised they accept non-binary females but not non-binary males though. Usually non-binary males are just shoved into the 'non-men' category with women/girls

ArabellaScott Mon 04-Jan-21 10:53:25

Re DBS: I wasn't sure it was quite this straightforward - there was a requirement for someone changing sex via GRA to notify relevant authorities if there was a conviction history, wasn't there? To actively ask to have all info moved onto the new identity. ... I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I seem to remember that being the case when discussed on here previously.

I'm sorry but I'm not convinced this won't be horribly taken advantage of by anyone who wants to change their identity and conceal convictions.

Agree that a DBS is the most absolute basic of checks and doesn't prove anything about anyone.

midgebabe Mon 04-Jan-21 10:58:36

Someone had explained that before to me, I will learn !

KatieAlcock Mon 04-Jan-21 11:10:46

realistically if they're going to accept trans girls then they can hardly tell them they have to sleep and shower elsewhere.

If I went on a residential with a girl who had multiple night wakings due to a disability, I'd be looking for a separate sleeping area for her to prevent the other girls from having to look after her/having their sleep disrupted (I know a local leader who had a girl like this and did this).

Likewise if a girl with anxiety was afraid of sharing a room as she'd never done this before we'd try to accommodate.

And if a leader had a dreadful snoring habit you can bet we'd be drawing straws not to have to share with her!

There are simple, not necessarily "nasty", reasons why a girl or woman might need their own sleeping space and we would normally be able to accommodate this.

When I had my "appeal" with a former Chief Guide I said that I would typically put in an anonymised risk assessment if I had a girl with different needs to others (e.g. "needs close supervision when out and about due to risk of impulsivity" or "may make others uncomfortable due to inability to self-filter/lack of boundaries") and I saw no reason why this couldn't happen with a transgirl ("may need separate sleeping accommodation due to risk of girls being uncomfortable sharing"). Had I stayed, though, I suspect putting forward this type of RA would have led to my wrongthink being reported in any case.

EyesOpening Mon 04-Jan-21 22:41:29

ArabellaScott

Re DBS: I wasn't sure it was quite this straightforward - there was a requirement for someone changing sex via GRA to notify relevant authorities if there was a conviction history, wasn't there? To actively ask to have all info moved onto the new identity. ... I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I seem to remember that being the case when discussed on here previously.

I'm sorry but I'm not convinced this won't be horribly taken advantage of by anyone who wants to change their identity and conceal convictions.

Agree that a DBS is the most absolute basic of checks and doesn't prove anything about anyone.

news.sky.com/story/more-than-900-sex-offenders-disappear-from-police-radar-with-many-changing-their-names-and-not-telling-officers-12036341

EyesOpening Mon 04-Jan-21 22:42:40

“The Safeguarding Alliance asked the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) how they guard against this. They replied: "The DBS does not undertake any background checks regarding applicants changing their name by deed poll."

gardenbird48 Mon 04-Jan-21 23:06:53

EyesOpening

“The Safeguarding Alliance asked the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) how they guard against this. They replied: "The DBS does not undertake any background checks regarding applicants changing their name by deed poll."

Isn’t this to do with the work undertaken by Dr V. McCloud (celebrated on the Sunday Times ‘Women’ of 2020 list despite having grown up benefiting from male socialisation and career advantages). Their celebrated work on the list was making it easier for trans people to change their name by Deed poll and not be outed (or something). Undermining what protection may be given by the DBS system.

ArabellaScott Tue 05-Jan-21 10:30:07

Thanks, Eyes. It is just as absurd as I remembered. Change tour name and previous crimes vanish as if by magic. Christ. DBS virtually useless.

ArabellaScott Tue 05-Jan-21 10:30:27

*your

ArabellaScott Tue 05-Jan-21 11:13:18

Coincidentally, just came across a petition to try and address this loophole. I'm not allowe d to link directly, I think, but it's at the govt petitions site,

'Revoke the right of registered sex offenders to change their name by deed poll'.

The govt response is interesting:

'We understand concern about offenders attempting to hide their identity and are working with Courts and Disclosure and Barring Service to close any monitoring gaps to ensure the public is kept safe.'

IN full:

'Protecting the public from sexual and violent offenders who pose a risk of serious harm is a key priority for the Government and the police. The Government is recruiting 20,000 more police officers and creating extra prison places to ensure violent and sexual offenders spend longer behind bars.

There is no current legal process to start using a new name. But a person who has changed their name might need a ‘deed poll’ to apply for or to change official documents like a passport or driving licence. A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name. ‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new name on public record. You must apply to the Royal Courts of Justice to get an ‘enrolled’ deed poll using the deed poll process. It costs £36.

In 2015, the Home Office published its Use and Change of Name Guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/change-of-name-guidance/use-and-change-of-names) on GOV.UK. It sets out the policy to make it more difficult for people to change their identities to enable them to commit crime, and to ensure there is a consistent approach to handling applications to change names contained on official documents.

This policy aligns the various approaches to managing name changes for Home Office documents such as British passports, Home Office Travel Documents, biometric residence permits and other forms of immigration documentation.

As Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins MP has written to the Master of Rolls and the Royal Courts of Justice requesting that a Judicial Working Group should consider criminality in regard to the enrolled deed poll process.

Once we have done so through the Judicial Working Group, we intend to also amend our existing Home Office guidance so that only enrolled deed polls (through the Royal Courts of Justice) are accepted as a proof of name change. We have also written to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to recommend that they undertake a feasibility study to determine the impact of requiring those seeking a DBS certificate to present a birth certificate alongside other primary and trusted Government documents.

Registered sex offenders are currently managed by the police. Tough checks and a range of legislative measures are available to the police to manage known sex offenders living in the community. Local police are in the best position to identify the risk posed by individuals.

Across the country, there are nearly 1,000 police officers who are dedicated full time to the management of sex offenders. These officers do not work in isolation. In a local area, all other police officers and PCSOs know who the relevant offenders are, and contribute towards their management in the course of their day-to-day policing duties.

The failure of a sex offender to tell police of a name change within three days is a criminal offence, with a maximum prison sentence of five years, and the Home Office already reserves the right not to issue a document in a new name to a registered sex offender.

Sex offenders have a duty under the law to notify the police when they change their name as part of their notification requirements. Offenders who attempt to hide a name change already face tough sentences. Where the police are notified that a sex offender has changed their name, the offender’s records will be updated on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register (also known as the ‘Sex Offenders Register’) and the Police National Computer. Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) relies on police forces to notify them of registered sex offenders so they can be flagged on HMPO systems.

If a sex offender then applies for a passport under a new name, HMPO will consider the application in consultation with the supervising police force. If the police have no objections and there are no other reasons to refuse, then the application will be granted and the new passport details provided to the supervising police force. HMPO requires anyone changing their name to be using that name for all purposes.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) plays a vital role in ensuring employers have the right information to help protect those in their care and prevent unsuitable people from working closely with them. ID guidelines for the DBS checks state that employers must ensure the applicant declares all previous name changes, and provides documentary proof to support the change of name. If the applicant is unable to provide proof to support the change of name for the check, it is for the employer to hold a probing discussion with the applicant about the reasons why before considering validating their identity.

Any decision not to issue a document will depend upon the purpose for the change of name, the nature of the offence committed and whether the change of name may be used to perpetrate further offending.

We will not allow sex offenders to evade justice and engage in criminality by attempting to change their identity

Home Office'

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