Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, has called on teachers to “involve parents” when children come out as transgender. Speaking before the Education Select Committee on 20 April, Zahawi was asked to comment on trans students using single-sex spaces by fellow Conservative MPs Caroline Johnson and Miriam Cates.
The latter referenced a YouGov poll which found that almost one in five teachers would not out their students to parents. “Parents have to be front and centre of this,” Zahawi told the Committee. “And that is my message to the front line is to say: you have to involve parents in this.
You have a duty to safeguard those children and parents are very much part of that.” He also stated that he and his department are working with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – which has been facing increasing scrutiny for what Stonewall has called an “anti-trans stance” in recent months – to develop guidelines on how schools should deal with trans pupils. “I think it’s incumbent on us as a department because I have the capacity, I have the people, I have the ability to bring in external advice,” Zahawi continued. “The Equalities and Human Rights Commission wrote to say, ‘Can we help you with this?’ and I’ve invited them in to help on this because I think it’s only right that we are able to be as clear, and publish guidance that is very clear, around these issues around gender and sex.” Johnson stated that she has been contacted by parents expressing concern over their children sharing spaces with trans students. “A trans student has to be protected, has to be dealt with in a way that is appropriate and delivers all the protections that are right,” the Education Secretary responded. “But I also think it’s equally
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