Little 'victories' - School's policies.

(24 Posts)
TinyRebel Thu 01-Apr-21 17:27:30

A little while ago, I was perusing my children's school's policies on their website and noticed that 'sex' and 'gender' were used interchangeably throughout. In listing the protected characteristics, 'gender' and 'gender identity' was used in place of 'sex' - also on their Equality Impact Assessment template.

Cue a letter to the school, using the Safe School's Alliance letter as a basis. I knew our county council is a Stonewall top 100 champion and that the policies likely originated from there, so enclosed a little bit on policy capture and why Stonewall should not be writing/advising on policy. I also 'helpfully' printed out the policies in question and made notes/highlighted as appropriate.grin

I've just had a meeting with the head. The chair of governors was in agreement that it needed to be changed. They have been liaising with the HR director at County, who agreed that the policy is not in accordance with the EA2010 and will be moving to change it.

Pretty significant I hope, as I believe this template policy doesn't just apply to schools, but to employment and organisations County wide. Will be watching this space.

N.b. The school also amended their own badly written anti bullying policy (which was probably lifted from somewhere and pre-dated the current head) to remove all reference to 'transgender pupils' and 'gender identity' as this was not at all relevant in a primary setting.

OP’s posts: |
IDontOnlyLikeJazzFunk Thu 01-Apr-21 17:30:04

well done TinyRebel - that is excellent work!! A definite victory and a great way to start a 'Friday' night wine

ErrolTheDragon Thu 01-Apr-21 17:32:25

Well done - and it sounds as though your correction may be adopted on a wider basis which is excellent. (Well, it's not excellent that so many bodies have been misquoting the law in the first place, obviously!)


Shedbuilder Thu 01-Apr-21 17:33:44

Well done, Tinyrebel: have a drink on me! In this way, tiny slice by tiny slice, we'll win this back.

Childrenofthestones Thu 01-Apr-21 17:43:18

When one door shuts another one opens.

"Arkansas Passes Law Banning Transgender Therapy And Surgery On Children"

"The bill, titled the Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act (SAFE) Act, would ban any and all healthcare related to transgender therapy or surgeries on children. "

Thelnebriati Thu 01-Apr-21 17:45:41

This is a great result; it might also be the case that some schools are looking for a reason to stop paying fees year after year.

stumbledin Thu 01-Apr-21 18:11:34

Well done!


persistentwoman Thu 01-Apr-21 18:14:34

Well done OP for taking the trouble to challenge this - that's such a good outcome. For anyone reading this who is interested in challenging Stonewall's intrusion into schools (especially as they're now targeting primary schools), Safe Schools Alliance have an excellent template letter with all the evidence about the damage this can do to children and schools:

MsFogi Thu 01-Apr-21 18:16:51

Well done OP! I wish more people would take the time to challenge schools about the wording in their policies (I get the feeling I am the only one in my dcs' school and it would help me not to look like a crazed one-issue parent if others were emailing in too!!).

Whatsnewpussyhat Thu 01-Apr-21 18:37:36

Well done wine

Leafstamp Thu 01-Apr-21 20:33:18

Well done OP. For even easier ease of reference, here is some wording from one of the many excellent template letters, linked to above:

I am writing to communicate my concerns about the wording of your Equality Policy and express my doubts that this complies with the Equality Act 2010.
Your policy inaccurately lists ‘gender’ as a protected characteristic, which it is not. ‘Sex’ is the protected characteristic as listed in the Equality Act 2010, but it is not listed in your policy.
Whilst your policy correctly lists ‘sex’ as a protected characteristic, it unfortunately conflates the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ throughout the document.

Although the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ have been used interchangeably in recent history, changing political circumstances have made it necessary to draw a distinction between the two – particularly where legislation is concerned. ‘Sex’ refers to the biological, reproductive classification of people as either ‘male’ or ‘female’. ‘Gender’ refers to the social expectations, roles or stereotypes of each of the sexes. While the two are clearly linked, it is important to acknowledge the difference in order to protect both adults and children from sex-based discrimination.

I respectfully ask that you amend your Equality Policy to replace any erroneous references to ‘gender’ as a protected characteristic with the correct term, ‘sex’.

In addition, if you find that your DC's school (or indeed your own workplace's) Equality Policy includes data collection, or you are ever asked what gender you/your DC is, then the following is useful in terms of what employers are allowed to record and keep:

ArabellaScott Thu 01-Apr-21 20:39:10

Wow, that is fantastic work, OP. Well done.

ClocksChange Thu 01-Apr-21 21:10:02

That’s cheered me! Well done! flowers

Cuntryhouse Thu 01-Apr-21 21:21:10

Woo hoo!!!

StrictlyAFemaleFemale Thu 01-Apr-21 21:23:27

Brilliant stuff!

FemaleAndLearning Thu 01-Apr-21 21:53:36

Well done. It really does work if we chip away.

highame Fri 02-Apr-21 13:33:43

I meant to add my congratulations OP, a county wide review. Well done

StillFemale Fri 02-Apr-21 13:58:44

Fantastic star

I was feeling happy about my very minor win on getting a website related to my hobby to remove gender as an example of the protected characteristic in diversity and equality policy (they removed the list of examples and referred to the Equality Act for the list), yours is a rather more significant win

YouSetTheTone Fri 02-Apr-21 14:55:52

Well done op!!! And I’m so pleased as well - I badgered my local primary school about this a couple of months ago and I’ve just checked their website on the back of this post. They’ve changed theirs now too! It correctly reads sex not gender!!
I’m delighted, must email and thank them.

WeeTorag Fri 02-Apr-21 14:55:59


Well done OP! I wish more people would take the time to challenge schools about the wording in their policies (I get the feeling I am the only one in my dcs' school and it would help me not to look like a crazed one-issue parent if others were emailing in too!!).

Hey @MsFogi I feel the same! I'm pretty sure I've been the only one, I'm a total spanner in the works though, constantly challenging our school. (That said, a Dad I know has challenged them this week 🎉) My son is only in year 7 so I've rocked the boat pretty early. But I failed to stop them renewing Stonewall membership, despite discrediting them as best I could and formally complaining etc, I was gutted. But I have made them look at their policies and consult with the parents on RSE/PSHE. They even sent a survey monkey the day but it was sneaky, look how they've worded one of the questions. Trying to gain parental approval to teach gender id by lumping it in with sexual orientation. I was so annoyed that I emailed them about it and told them the wording is out of order, that they are two very different things and the responses will be skewed.

Well done OP, you've done great!! 👏👏👏

MsFogi Fri 02-Apr-21 15:05:54

Well done @WeeTorag we all need to be asking and challenging - the brainwashing is insidious in so many schools.

Thecatonthemat Fri 02-Apr-21 15:11:44

Well done...not at all a ‘ little victory’ . There are lots of women challenging this one school at a time, and all over things may be changing thanks to you and all the others. It has no business at all in the primary school, and should not have a big place in secondary school either , apart from the ‘ some people believe...’ type of thing.

CuthbertDibbleandGrubb Fri 02-Apr-21 16:43:10

Well done and an important victory.

malloo Fri 02-Apr-21 18:42:07

Good for you! That's spurred me on to get writing to DS's school about the same thing.

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