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27/02/2018by Dorothy Simon

Transgender advice

The purpose of this page is to provide some information and resource references to help with questions that may arise in schools and other settings in relation to gender identity issues.


A legal framework exists to assist in the consideration of these issues. The Human Rights Act 1988 has provisions for the right to respect for private and family life [Article 8], the right to freedom of expression [Article 10] and the prohibition against discrimination [Article 14]. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 mainly concerns the process by which a person can obtain a gender recognition certificate so that their original birth certificate matches their true gender. It is only available once a person has reached 18 years of age but may well be a concern or aspiration of a younger person. The Equality Act 2010 ensures legal protection against direct or indirect discrimination in relation to a number of protected characteristics and one of these is gender reassignment which is sometimes referred to as transgender. This act applies to employment, education and a range of other areas and in order to qualify for protection a person must be taking steps to live in the opposite gender or be proposing to do so.


Recent experience suggests that a growing number of young people are coming forward with issues around their gender and what follows is a note of resources that may assist with questions and requests for support as well as some questions and answers that may help.

 

Definitions:

 

Trans: An inclusive term for those who identify themselves as transgender, transsexual or transvestite. The word ‘trans’ can be used without offence to cover people undergoing gender transition; people who identify as someone with a different gender from that in which they were born, but who may have decided not to undergo medical treatment; and people who choose to dress in the clothing typically worn by the other sex. This term should only be used as an adjective.

 

Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from their birth sex. The term may include, but is not limited to, transsexual people and others who see themselves as not clearly fitting into male or female identities. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically. The term transgender should only be used as an adjective, for example ‘transgender people’.

 

Links to resources:

 

Q and As

  • How should we deal with the issues of toilet provision for transgender children and young people? We need to make sure that we protect the dignity and privacy of trans pupils and students. Possible solutions depend on the existing facilities and arrangements, it may be appropriate to designate some facilities as unisex facilities in order to achieve this. An appropriate risk assessment and audit of existing facilities is a useful starting point.
  • How do we react to concerns from staff, families and carers? Clear policies around equality and diversity that are well understood are a key issue as well as awareness raising activity and appropriate discussion to ensure that staff feel supported and well equipped to deal with such questions when they arise.

Please contact us for further advice?

 

Amy Lapite

Head of Children and Education Legal Department

0333 013 9612

Amy.Lapite@essex.gov.uk

Dorothy Simon

Head of Children and Education Legal Department

03330 139622 

Dorothy.Simon@essex.gov.uk

 

This article is available to download by clicking on the following link.

Contact Us

To find out how we can help you and your organisation, please get in touch by phone or email, or visit us at our Chelmsford office.

 

ELS is the inhouse service of Essex County Council.  Essex Legal Services Limited is the trading vehicle of ELS

For general legal requests and advice on new matters our Duty Advice Service (available to subscribers only) operates between 9.00am and 5.15pm. contact us on : 0333 013 9993.  Or if you want to subscribe please call: 0333 013 2305.

 

ELS, Seax House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH
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