Primary school head teachers are being told to include books featuring transgender parents on the curriculum.
Guidance from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) says ‘trans perspectives’ must be visible in the classroom to combat prejudice among pupils.
The advice, endorsed by the Government and Ofsted, is expected to be rolled out in primaries across the country.
It tells schools to ensure books featuring ‘trans parents’ or ‘celebrating gender identity and difference’ are included in the curriculum for pupils aged four to 11.
And it advocates ‘gender neutral phrasing’ for dress codes, asking schools to ensure uniform rules ‘avoid gender stereotypes’.
Primary school head teachers are being told to include books featuring transgender parents on the curriculum (file photo)
However critics said schools were putting too much focus on an issue that only affects a small minority – and could leave children confused.
It comes after it emerged that children as young as ten are being asked by the NHS if they feel ‘comfortable with their gender’.
The survey handed out to schools in Lancashire – which came under fire from parents and MPs – included questions such as: ‘Do you feel the same inside as the gender you were born with? (Feeling male or female).’
The NAHT is a teaching union made up 28,500 school leaders, most of whom are primary heads. The guidance, released today, is contained in a document about ‘supporting trans staff’, which was compiled with the help of LGBT rights charity Stonewall.
It states that heads should ‘celebrate trans people, issues and experiences within the school and across the curriculum to celebrate diversity and ensure visibility of trans perspectives’.
The document says: ‘Ensure trans students and children with trans parents feel included in their learning, and trans staff members feel positively represented in lesson content and welcomed in the school environment.
‘Primary school leaders may want to ensure books featuring trans parents or celebrating gender identity and difference are included in the curriculum.’
The guidance, the first of its kind in the UK, has been issued to tackle harassment of transgender teachers and make children more accepting of those with gender dysphoria – and feel more able to be open if they experience it themselves.
Guidance from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) says ‘trans perspectives’ must be visible in the classroom to combat prejudice among pupils (file photo)
It urges schools to ensure trans teachers are allowed to use the toilets and changing rooms which ‘align with their gender identity’.
Complaints from parents, governors or staff members about transgender issues should not be allowed to interfere with the ‘inclusive school environment’.
And it warns that if a member of staff finds out that a colleague has a ‘trans history’ and lets it slip to others without their consent, ‘this could be considered a criminal act’ under the Gender Recognition Act.
Emphasising how trans staff can be ‘important role models for pupils’, it states: ‘When pupils see staff members able to be authentic about themselves … they are more likely to feel able to be authentic and open themselves as well as encouraged to treat all members of the school community with equal respect.’
Last night the document was met with criticism from campaigners who warned the inclusion of trans issues in the curriculum could ‘confuse and upset’ children.
Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Indoctrination in the politically correct anxieties, passions and neuroses of adults has no place in school.
The advice, endorsed by the Government and Ofsted, is expected to be rolled out in primaries across the country (file photo)
‘This latest intrusion into childhood will cause upset, confusion and trauma for many youngsters. The only lesson children need to learn is “The Golden Rule” – treat others as you would wish to be treated.’
Laura Perrins, co-editor of the Conservative Woman website, said: ‘This radical, ideological guidance is being introduced with no consultation with parents and has real potential to confuse children.’
The NAHT’s general secretary, Paul Whiteman, said: ‘School leaders should develop and maintain an environment that welcomes diversity, champions equality and encourages staff members to be their own authentic selves.
‘We’ve produced this guidance to help schools become the model that other workplaces should follow.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘We welcome any initiative which supports LGBT staff in schools, helping to create a more inclusive environment.’
Ofsted said: ‘Ofsted of course welcomes any initiative that helps schools and other education providers to promote and support equality, inclusivity and diversity.
‘Our inspections consider how well school leaders and governors promote equality and respect for people of all sexual orientations.’