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Lack of school guidance failing transgender pupils

Discussion in 'Education news' started by richardrogersscience, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. richardrogersscience

    richardrogersscience New commenter

    I read an article in the Telegraph today about how a big report by the UK Parliament suggests that provision, care and support for transgender pupils in UK schools is poor and sub-standard. The report also makes 30 recommendations which include teacher trainng on the issue, as well as changes to the PSHE curriculum.

    Any thoughts on this? Are we not already providing UK school children with enough gender/sex education as it is? Also, should school children really be thinking about changing their gender anyway?
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    26 years of teaching and I have never met a transgender pupil
  3. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    In general transgender children would not be thinking about "changing their gender". Gender dysmorphia (suffered by many trans people) involves essentially feeling you're in the wrong body, potentially being disgusted or distressed by it, because their physical sex (body) does not match their gender identity (who they feel they are).

    I don't think it needs to be a priority for schools - the numbers involved aren't very high. I think those with a specific responsibility for safeguarding should probably receive some training so tha they are able to respond appropriately and put things in place when necessary, but it's not something that affects the everyday running of most schools.

    I do think that it should be taught about appropriately in PSHE (just briefly at some point) to ensure that children understand the issues involved for when they do eventually meet trans people later in life.

    I don't think they're getting enough (or maybe just not the right kind?) of sex and relationships education still, actually. This is from my perspective as someone who doesn't teach PSHE but I certainly come across a lot of misconceptions and ignorance just through everyday conversations and things I overhear.

    Personally I taught a unit of work about the French film "Tomboy" (about a transgender child) which prompted some very interesting discussions with my Y9s. I hope that later in life they will be more understanding and accepting of trans people they meet and understand that someone's gender identity is about more than genitals.
    richardrogersscience likes this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I don't think it's considered SEN, but if not then why not? If special provision is to be made for these students then let's bundle them in.
  5. Josh7

    Josh7 Occasional commenter

    Last year was my 27th.
    The first in which I met one, in fact taught one for the whole year. Delightful 'girl' who wishes to be a boy, has done from the time he could articulate it. During a circle time at the end of the year on answering the question "What is your wish for the future?" while the others said of a 'play for XXXXX team', 'have a Ferrari', 'live in a castle with a gold swimming pool', he said "Be a boy with a real penis". The rest of the class didn't bat an eyelid, having been with him since reception.

    In the September when I wanted advice and resources, there wasn't a great deal of it. Would have appreciated some training on it.
  6. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    When governments start a process about such matters and forcing them on the agenda, you have to worry what news they are trying to bury?
    richardrogersscience likes this.
  7. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Even though I never came across across an openly transgender pupil in nearly 30 years, teachers have lots of free time so would love to see a few after-school sessions and perhaps a few Saturdays and some holiday time devoted to transgender issues. While we are on the subject of extra training for teachers, I'd like teachers to spend Sundays being trained about animal cruelty issues, advising parents on tackling bed wetting and potty training, how to reinforce garden walls and the use of zen in the classroom, just in case.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I've come across a very few (countable on the fingers of one hand).
    The tiny number of transgender teens makes it difficult to provide for them. The biggest need for support is dealing with the bullying from those who can't deal with people who are different.
    Another problem can be that their heads are so filled with "other stuff" that learning is no longer important to them, then they become a big problem for school targets.

    I don't think the kids choose their dysmorphia.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think PSE in general could do with an overhaul - certainly in my school.
  10. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I think this shows that awareness and understanding among teachers is seriously needed.
  11. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    My father was a well educated, kind, caring teacher with strong religious beliefs who could not be swayed from his assertion that homosexuals were just perverts. I became an atheist and am not tied by any religious dogma.
    Many children bully and make fun of others simply because they are 'different'. Partly because of my upbringing I go out of my way to communicate with people who are 'different' and find a new perspective that enhances my understanding of the world.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    This is not a thread about homosexuality, and I think it's worth pointing out that people without and people with religious beliefs can feel equal amounts of repulsion for sexual acts of many different kinds.
  13. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    You are correct - but the principle remains the same. There are many things about norms that people believe (via religion of parenting) cannot or should not be violated that may be impossible to 'unteach'.
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Behaviours a government decide should be taught as acceptable or even promoted as national values are not necessarily normal. A behaviour is normal due to its statistical location within a population and not its legislative vogue.
  15. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    That is just one definition. Others are available

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