The curious tale of Oxfordshire, a trans inclusion toolkit – and a High Court Review

Apr 21, 2020 by

by Victoria Hewson, Conservative Home:

It was announced on Saturday that an application by a 13-year-old schoolgirl (known as Miss A) for judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit has been accepted by the High Court.

This means that the case will proceed to trial, and that the girl’s claim, which has been supported by crowd funding and the Safe Schools Alliance, will be heard in full.

If she succeeds, it may lead to the council having to withdraw the toolkit, along with other local authorities that also use it.

The toolkit is an alarming document. Its recommendations – for professionals working in schools, colleges, and educational settings – include:

  • A suggested script for schools to use to communicate to parents/carers, stating: “As a school/college/setting we recognise the right of all individuals to determine their own gender identity. We will fully support every individual in our school/setting to develop their own gender identity and expression including where this may involve transition”.
  • On toilets – “Children and young people are supported through the Equality Act 2010 to access the toilet that corresponds to their gender identity; so trans girls because they are girls, can use the girls’ toilets and trans boys the boys’ toilets.”
  • On changing rooms – “In all cases, trans children and young people should have access to the changing room that corresponds to their gender identity.”
  • On PE and fitness – “Schools should aim to reduce as far as possible segregating children and young people by gender.* Trans children and young people should be supported to equally access PE and where lessons are segregated by gender should be enabled to participate in the lesson which corresponds to their gender identity if this is what they request.”
  • On residential trips – “As far as possible, trans children and young people should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity. Some trans children and young people may not feel comfortable doing this and in such cases alternative sleeping and living arrangements should be made.”

All of this is based on some quite egregious misstatements of the Equality Act 2010, which the toolkit purports to be assisting schools to comply with.

The toolkit refers throughout to ‘gender identity’ and the concept of a ‘trans child’, and claims that the Equality Act underpins the recommendations made.

But the Equality Act 2010 contains no such protected characteristic of ‘gender identity’. It does include protected characteristics of ‘sex’ and ‘gender re-assignment’, but neither of these are the same as ‘gender identity’.

Read here


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