Nearly half of secondary schools are allowing children to self-declare their gender without parental consent, an investigation has found. The Telegraph has the story.
Downing Street is being urged to intervene by MPs and peers in light of the findings.
Freedom of Information requests to more than 300 state secondary schools in England have found that 40% are allowing children to self-declare their gender.
The research, by the think tank Policy Exchange, also found that more than 30% of schools are failing to inform their Designated Safeguarding Lead when a child wishes to change gender.
The report claims that the practice of affirming a child’s feelings of “gender distress”, where a child thinks there is a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity, has become “embedded within the classroom, meaning secondary schools are effectively facilitating medical interventions on site”.
Nadhim Zahawi, the former education secretary, said: “This Policy Exchange report marks an important contribution to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that urgent attention needs to be paid to the ways children are being impacted by gender identity beliefs.”
Baroness Morris of Yardley, a former Labour education secretary, said: “Children deserve to be kept safe and action is now urgent.”
According to the report, only 28% of schools said that they would reliably inform a parent as soon as a child disclosed they were questioning their gender.
The investigation also found that 28% of schools do not have single-sex toilets, while at least 19% are not maintaining single-sex changing rooms.
Schools have been waiting for almost a year for new transgender guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) to help them navigate a rise in the number of pupils who say they want to change their gender identity.
Civil servants started working on the guidance last April when Mr Zahawi was in charge of the department. However, work on the guidance has stalled under a succession of new leaders and is now due to be published “later this year”, according to the DfE.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Backbencher-of-the-year Miriam Cates appeared on GB News earlier today to discuss this report. She’s not happy.