Gender Matters and Child Protection

The new 'rules' on gender and children - what you need to know

June 2024

The final report of the groundbreaking Cass Report was published in April 2024.

After four years of gathering and analysing data, the Cass Review marks the most comprehensive report ever done on the subject of gender identity, as it relates to children and young people. The official remit of the Cass report is solely for England, yet its impact has already been felt in Scotland and Ireland, and there are now calls for the Report’s recommendations to be followed in the United States.

The Review recommends that the routine prescription of puberty blockers be ended, at least for the foreseeable future, while the use of sex change hormones should not be administered to under-16s. The Review recommends an “extremely cautious clinical approach” when providing sex change hormones before the age of 18. While this new advice is welcomed, there are other aspects of the Report that do not adequately safeguard children.

In our Qs and As, some of the most important parts of this nearly 400-page Report are summarised. We also provide a shorter, one-page summary of select features of the Report.

This will be of special interest to parents, grandparents, mental health practitioners, church ministers and all concerned citizens.

Qs & As: The ‘new’ rules on gender and children – what you need to know

The final report of the Cass Review: summary of the positives and negatives

Draft Guidance for Gender Questioning Children and Young People in Schools and Colleges

March 2024

The Department for Education (DfE) is consulting on matters concerning gender questioning children in schools and colleges. Draft guidance has been published and the general public are invited to comment on its content, which includes issues about: name changing, pronouns, single-sex spaces, toilets, changing rooms, boarding and residential accommodation, uniform, PE and sport and single-sex schools.

While VfJUK welcomes much of the draft guidance, we are concerned by the multiple loopholes within it, meaning that children will not be adequately protected. If the guidance remains unchanged, children will not be properly safeguarded. Social transition (name changing, etc) is often a precursor to medical transition, and therefore exposes children and young people to serious health risks and medical harms, some of which are irreversible.

Parents are the primary educators of their children. When their children are educated at school or college, parents trust these institutions to both educate and safeguard their children (‘in loco parentis’). All too often, decisions involving socially transitioning children are taken without parental knowledge or consent. It is unlawful for schools or colleges to usurp parental authority. It is also outside of the school or college remit to make professional decisions involving mental health. Parents must be fully trusted to exercise moral oversight for their children’s welfare.

There has been much confusion among schools in the contested area of gender and gender questioning children. Schools have often shown ignorance or disregard of the law and guidance, having wrongly encouraged children to transition, without parental knowledge and/or consent.

Parents must be fully informed and actively involved in cases affecting their children. Their concerns about protecting their children from transition must always be prioritised over decisions made by officials within the school/college.

Children and transgenderism – what you need to know

VfJUK responses to DfE consultation on gender questioning children.

Draft guidance on gender questioning children.

Government survey.

DfE’s summary of Draft Guidance.

Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit (produced by Proud Trust, Brighton and Hove City Council and others, third edition)

January 2021

DfE’s summary of Draft Guidance.

Produced by Proud Trust, Brighton and Hove City Council and others (third edition, 2018). This resource was withdrawn by councils in Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Doncaster, Leicester City and Shropshire, following a court case in Oxfordshire that highlighted safeguarding concerns. In 2021, a new version of the toolkit was published.

VFJUK Study: Uncovering RSE and Exposing Harms.

‘Changing Gender’ – Exposing Medical Harms & Risks: What do the authorities say?

October 2020

What do the authorities say? Voice for Justice UK’s own briefing.

VFJUK Briefing – ‘Changing Gender’ – Exposing Medical Harms and Risks:the Authorities Say?

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