A request to change name and pronouns in line with a cross-sex or non-binary identity by changing school records can seem like the kindest and most inclusive of actions. But there are growing concerns about the impact of social transition, including the long term effects on a child, the social impact on the child and their peers and most importantly safeguarding considerations around confidentiality, parental involvement and how these affect what is commonly seen as a children’s rights approach.
The Department for Education has promised updated, comprehensive guidance on this subject which has not yet been published. In its absence, we summarise the current advice from the interim report of the Cass Review of gender services for under 18s, as well as from the NHS and Department for Education statutory guidance. We hope this will be a useful guide for parents, schools and teachers on the complex interplay of factors to consider when a child declares a transgender identity.
Download our guide to the current advice on social transition for your school, together with our Safeguarding Guide which outlines the responsibilities schools have when a child says they are trans.