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Safeguarding conflicts in Scottish schools

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Trans guidance for Scottish schools breaches 11 children's rights, campaigners warn

    'Controversial guidelines governing the inclusion of trans pupils in schools could breach as many as 15 articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, according to a new campaign for women and girls.

    Many councils and schools have adopted the guidelines, without assessing the impact on other pupils, according to the group Women and Girls in Scotland (WGiS).

    The report comes ahead of a public meeting in Edinburgh tomorrow (Thursday) which is being held by ForWomen.Scot, another group calling for greater protection for the rights of women and girls.

    The advice to schools, written by LGBT Youth and the Scottish Trans Alliance, states that trans pupils should share overnight accommodation on school trips with pupils based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex, and should be allowed to take part in sports, and use changing rooms and toilets based on the gender they identify as.

    Any pupils who have concerns about this should be asked to wait and use facilities after a trans pupil has done so and "they should be reminded of the school's ethos of inclusion, equality and respect". There is no need to tell parents if their child is to share accommodation with a trans peer of the opposite sex, the guidance states.


    As a result the group has carried out its own Children's Rights Impact Assessment using the model published by the Scottish Children's Commissioner.

    Its 51-page analysis, which is to be published online, warns that key aspects of the rights of other children are likely to be breached in schools where the guidelines are adopted. They say non-trans children will be affected, most notably girls who benefit from single sex provision in intimate settings and in sports. "The guidance sets up a conflict of interest, particularly between male-bodied transgender young people and girls" the report states.

    The group says it submitted the analysis to the Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland (CYPCS) in November and was promised a response within three weeks, but has yet to receive any formal feedback.

    WGiS says that by failing to address concerns relating to privacy, dignity, safety or as a result of religious belief, or the impact on children who have previously suffered sexual harassment, assault or abuse, the guidance "does not clearly demonstrate respect for the views of the young people who are affected by these issues."


    The only children consulted over the guidance were a small number of trans pupils, and the group is calling for a fresh consultation allowing a wider range of young people to give their views, anonymously if necessary.

    Leya Terra, spokeswoman for WGiS, said group recognised the sensitivity of the issue and added; "transgender young people must be safe and comfortable at school, but this should not come at the expense of the safety and comfort of others."

    "The guidance has been written with the intention of supporting transgender young people in schools, but there is no evidence that it has fully taken into account the needs of other protected groups of young people," she added.


    "The Government and all those responsible for education have a duty to ensure that any guidance used in schools follows international human rights standards and undertaking a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment is an important part of taking a rights-based approach and ensuring compliance with existing domestic and international law.”'
    HeraldScotland.com, 30th January 2019.
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    I've done a lot of Rights Respecting Schools work and can't think of a single article in the UNCRC which might be at risk of not being upheld by the guidance referred to.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Refer to the Children's Rights Impact Assessment linked in the opening post.
  4. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    What a surprise! A group with an agenda carries out its own assessment of something they aren't happy about and comes up with conclusions which support its own viewpoint. Who could have predicted that?
    halfajack likes this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    1. All groups have agenda.
    2. Pointing out an agenda does not invalidate it.
    3. The agenda of WGiS is the statutory safeguarding of schoolchildren.
  6. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    No it's not.
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    halfajack likes this.

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