Scotland has issued new guidance to schools telling teachers how to create a safe and welcoming environment for trans children.
Released by Scotland’s Learning Directorate, the advice informs those working in education that students should be allowed to learn in a supportive environment – regardless of their gender or pronouns.
One of the key areas highlighted by the guidance is that students of all ages should be allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender.
Teachers are also asked to address students by the correct name and pronouns, as well as encouraging students to do so as well.
The document’s introduction says: “If a young person would like changes to be made in order that they are supported to learn, then consider ‘what is in the best interests of the young person?’”
Another focal point of the report is that schools need to be made safer for trans children, with suggestions of introducing gender-neutral dress codes to help do this.
According to the document, hostility toward trans students is to be tackled using a proactive approach that aims to result in a positive outcome.
Schools will also be encouraged to actively teach students to “challenge gender stereotypes and include transgender people” in discussions.
Although there are no changes to the curriculum included in the guidance, it states the importance of celebrating trans people and Women’s History Month is to create as inclusive of an environment as possible.
The document, which was released on August 12 after being in development since 2019, says: “In general, being alert to gender stereotypes and being aware that not every child will identify as the sex they were assigned at birth, will help create an environment in which all young people can ﬂourish.”
The information is being given to teachers in a bid to ensure that “boys and girls aren’t praised for different things” and that gender stereotypes play less of a factor in children’s educational experience.
Staff members are encouraged to remember that students may be more open about their gender identity and sexuality at school than they are at home, which needs to be respected at all costs.
As such, the government has stated that schools should respect their names and pronouns – regardless of what official records and documents may say.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, attached a written statement to the guidance.
She explained: “The health and wellbeing of every child and young person must be at the heart of our decision making.
“I am confident that this guidance, combined with our forthcoming work on gender equality, will help schools deliver a learning environment where privacy, safety, dignity and respect is afforded to every pupil so they can each achieve their full potential.”