Schools in Scotland have been advised to let children – including those as young as four – choose their own gender, but there is no requirement to inform parents.
The controversial advice appears in new guidance on ‘supporting transgender young people in schools’ published by the Scottish government.
Any pupil who decides they want to switch gender must be supported and listened to, the document says.
Although the document encourages teachers to involve parents at an early stage, it says teachers should only share information with the family if it is in the child’s best interests.
Primary and secondary schools have also been told to put books featuring transgender people on the curriculum, allow pupils to choose which changing room or toilets to use, and consider introducing a gender-neutral uniform.
Marion Calder, director of the For Women Scotland campaign group, said, ‘What are they thinking? Parents will be very concerned to be reading this document.’
Scottish education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said, ‘The guidance is not prescriptive and does not promote transitioning.’
Meanwhile, in England, some NHS trusts have refused to stop transgender sex offenders from being placed on female-only wards.
Hospitals in Devon, Oxford, and Nottinghamshire have said a criminal history should be part of a risk assessment. But they do not say it prevents the patients from being admitted.
Some trusts have called opponents of the policies transphobic, likened them to racists in official guidelines, and asked staff to report the ‘hate crimes’ to police, the Daily Telegraph reported.