HMC Spring Conference 2023: Our letter to heads on ideological talks

The HMC Spring Conference 2023 ‘Making Good Things Happen’ took place on Thursday 4 May in London. We became aware that two keynote talks would cover ‘The Joy of Trans’ as well as the legal perspectives on supporting children and adolescents with a trans identity within schools. The conference was covered in The Daily Telegraph, with issues raised about a former Mermaids Trustee giving advice to school leaders.

Our concerns centre on the need for school leaders to have an understanding of the complexity and vulnerability of their trans-identified students but that instead, HMC were to present conference attendees with a simplistic and glamorized perspective that disregards the co-morbidities and safeguarding risks for this group.

Programme for HMC Spring Conference

It is unclear what insight a man who transitioned later in life could have about adolescent gender dysphoria, which disproportionately affects girls. The Cass Review describes the current cohort as “different” and “more complex” yet HMC shows no sign of nuance or need for caution.

Despite the potential for lifelong medicalisation and links with serious mental health difficulties, the HMC keynote extols a trans identity as a “gift” that is elevated above all other possible outcomes – in stark contrast to the multifactorial and complex reality captured by Cass.

So we wrote to many of the HMC heads to highlight our concerns and urging HMC members to seek information about the latest NHS advice on supporting trabs-identified students.

Our letter can be read in full below.