Scotland has released new guidelines to help schools and education bodies understand “real-life examples” issues that impact trans students.
Scottish ministers have said the new guidelines will help provide a “safe, respectful and inclusive learning environment” for all students.
The published guidance acknowledges the 2010 Equality Act and states the new regulations strive to help schools meet the needs of all of their pupils including girls and transgender pupils.
In a foreword written by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville explains the intentions of the new guidance.
“The aim of this Government’s education policy is to achieve excellence and equity for all our young people in a high-performing education system. To achieve this we must ensure every child and young person is happy, safe, respected and included in their learning environment,” the forward reads.
“By doing so, we are creating the right environment for everyone to participate fully in their education and achieve their potential.”
While the primary focus of this guidance is to help schools support transgender pupils, the guidance also recognises the particular importance of privacy and the provision of safe spaces for girls and boys within schools.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville shared a comment on the guidance to the BBC: “Pupils are happier and learn more at school when they feel safe, respected and included.
“We know transgender young people can face many issues in schools and that teachers and staff must have the confidence and skills to support their mental, physical and emotional health.
“This guidance outlines how schools can support transgender young people while ensuring that the rights of all pupils are fully respected.”
LGBT Youth Scotland, Dr Mhairi Crawford praised Scotland’s new guidelines supporting trans youth.
“Our research shows that school is the area where trans young people experience the most discrimination and this must be addressed,” she said.
“Teachers and school leadership often tell us that they lack the knowledge and confidence to effectively support trans young people.
“This resource will guide school staff on how best to do so, improving the lives of trans young people and enabling them to thrive.”