Welsh schools and trans guidance – hung out to dry

Merched Cymru’s research shows how schools in Wales are compromising children’s safety and well being, and exposing themselves to the risk of legal challenge. In the absence of clear, legally compliant guidance from Welsh Government on making decisions regarding gender distressed or questioning pupils, schools are taking widely varying approaches, and often reaching for toolkits from transgender campaigning organisations that have already been withdrawn following legal challenge.

Download the full report:

“Hung Out To Dry: The impact of Welsh Government inaction on gender distressed children, their families and their schools.”

The report is based on Freedom of Information requests to a representative sample of schools across Wales, and one-to-one interviews with parents, teachers and other school staff. Continue reading “Welsh schools and trans guidance – hung out to dry”

A new Vale of Glamorgan Transgender Toolkit – still putting children at risk

While waiting for the long-delayed Welsh national guidance, the Vale of Glamorgan has pressed ahead with adopting its own transgender toolkit for schools. While it’s a huge improvement on the previous version, adopted in 2018, it still suggests that social transition (changing a child’s name, pronouns and access to opposite sex spaces and sports, and treating them as if they had changed sex) should be available on a case by case basis.

Parents and schools need to ask – who’s taking responsibility for such decisions and their consequences? Continue reading “A new Vale of Glamorgan Transgender Toolkit – still putting children at risk”

Mixed sex toilets in Wales’ schools – breaking the law

New and refurbished school buildings across Wales are imposing mixed sex toilet facilities on children. These toilets are not compliant with the law, and present considerable problems, particularly for girls.

Merched Cymru’s research shows that 15% of Welsh secondary schools surveyed have only mixed sex toilet provision, with many more having some or most of their provision in mixed sex blocks with shared handwashing facilities, which are not compliant with the regulations. Continue reading “Mixed sex toilets in Wales’ schools – breaking the law”

Merched Cymru’s letter to The Observer on ‘Gender Questioning Children’

Merched Cymru has sent the following letter to the Observer in response to this article on the UK’s recently published draft guidance entitled ‘Gender Questioning Children.’

We welcome the long-awaited guidance for English schools on how to support children who are questioning their gender.

In Wales we are still waiting for guidance from the Welsh government, announced in the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ action plan and initially promised for the summer term. Meanwhile schools are left without direction in this highly contested area, with many still following guidance toolkits which misrepresent equality law.

While the new draft for England is not perfect, it marks a significant step forward and it is encouraging to see a clearly stated commitment to safeguarding principles and a recognition of the rights of other pupils. We hope that the Welsh guidance will take a similar approach.

Vale of Glamorgan: Transgender inclusion toolkit

Merched Cymru responded to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s consultation on a new ‘Transgender inclusion toolkit’, highlighting safeguarding and legal risks with the recommended approach. See our response here [PDF].

Recent news coverage has highlighted a range of ways that schools in England are compromising safeguarding and violating children’s rights by facilitating children to access changing rooms, toilets, sports and sleeping accommodation intended for the opposite sex, by changing children’s names and pronouns without informing parents. We know the same is happening in Wales. Continue reading “Vale of Glamorgan: Transgender inclusion toolkit”