For parents who have a child starting a new school / going back to school in September after transitioning, it can be an anxious time. We’ve put together a few pointers that we hope will be of help to parents and teachers to make the new school year as stress-free as possible.
▪️ Your child has the right to receive an education without fear of bullying or harassment - just because they’re trans, doesn’t make it acceptable.
▪️Don’t be afraid to bring issues to the attention of teachers, no matter how small - it’s often easier to stop things before they escalate.
▪️If your child is a victim of transphobic hate, report it. Work with the school to ensure they deal with the issue and don’t sweep it under the carpet. If needs be, report it to the police - this doesn’t mean you have to proceed to investigation or prosecution, but it is then logged. Galop are wonderful at offering support: http://www.galop.org.uk/
▪️Your child has the right to access facilities that align with their gender identity, this includes toilets and changing areas - The 2010 Equality Act covers this. If you choose to use alternative facilities offered, that’s fine too! https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/…/Equality_Act_Advice_Schools…
▪️Your child should be able to wear the school uniform that aligns with their gender identity.
▪️Your child should be able to be known as their chosen name and pronouns at school. A deed poll is not required for this. Should they wish to enter exams in their new name a deed poll will be needed. The school should then update your child’s official records used by examination boards.
▪️You do not need to notify any other parents about your child’s transition / trans status - either when they transition or on school trips, or other events. If you want to, that’s fine, but it’s not an obligation.
▪️Point schools in the direction of school guidance from legitimate sources, such as ‘Brighton & Hove Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit’ (https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/…/Trans-Inclusion-Schools-Too…) or ‘East Sussex Schools Trans Inclusion Toolkit’ (https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/…/East%20Sussex%20schools%20t…) or if you’re in Scotland, the ‘Supporting Transgender Young People’ booklet (https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/…/supporting-transgender-young…)