Fact check: The Church of England’s response to the Cass Review

Apr 18, 2024 by

by Ben John, Christian Concern:

Christian Concern’s Ben John exposes the Church of England’s disingenuous response to the landmark Cass Review.

The Church of England have welcomed the final publication of the landmark Cass Review.

The short statement says:

“We agree with Dr Cass’s conclusions that, as far as any form of social transitioning is concerned, a very cautious approach is necessary, and should involve full collaboration and consultation with parents and medical professionals. Something we have always maintained.”

It continues to say the Church eagerly awaits the publication of the guidance for gender questioning children in schools and that the Valuing All God’s Children document will be updated in light of the guidance.

So is it, in fact, true that the Church of England has always maintained that a cautious approach is necessary for social transitioning?

Valuing All God’s Children says:

“Trans young people may require specific support in order to feel comfortable at school, for example, schools may need to make changes to toilet facilities or a trans young person might require support to change their name or the pronoun by which they are referred to by staff and classmates.” (p19)

It goes on to advise on the legal framework saying that:

“Schools must not discriminate (either directly or indirectly) against gender variant pupils, pupils who are perceived to be gender variant or pupils with trans parents. In the context of a school, indirect discrimination could include an inflexible uniform policy that creates a particular difficulty for trans pupils. The protected characteristic of gender reassignment only works one way – not being transgender is not a protected characteristic. Consequently schools can make adjustments to meet the needs of a trans pupil without being accused of discriminating against non-trans pupils.” (p14)

It is worth noting that this is explicitly rejected in the draft guidance from the government.

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