Boys and Girls and the Equality Act – Guidance for Schools (Scotland)
This guide is about schools’ responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 towards all boys and girls in relation to the protected characteristics of sex, and “gender reassignment.”
This is not a guide to gender identity issues or healthcare for individual pupils; rather, it is about the general rules and policies that schools need in order to be fair and inclusive, keep everyone safe and work with parents.
The general principles are clarity of language, and doing no harm. Children who experience gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender should not be treated less favourably in education, but they have not changed sex. By taking steps to avoid sex discrimination (i.e. not treating girls and boys differently, apart from where sex matters), schools will also avoid much risk of indirect discrimination against children who may have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
Who is it for?
This guide is for:
- Teachers, school leadership teams and Parent Councils and governors in both state and independent schools at primary and secondary levels setting rules and policies
- Parents and young people seeking to understand their rights
- Local education authorities producing their own guidance
The guide includes a model policy which schools can adopt.
It may also be useful for other institutions that work with children and young people, such as youth associations and sports clubs. It is also offered as an input to guidance that may be developed by the government or national public bodies. Its focus is on the UK legal framework. This version is specifically for Scotland. There is a separate edition for England and Wales.