New RSHE draft guidance – is there a problem in schools?

RSHE draft guidance

We welcome the government’s new RSHE draft guidance which represents a big step forward in getting gender identity ideology out of schools. The public consultation is open till 11 July 2024. The RSHE guidance is statutory and it will be included as a component of Ofsted inspections.

The main important changes to the 2019 guidance are that gender identity ideology must not be taught as fact and sex education must not be taught before the age of nine. This is in response to well-documented evidence of gender identity teaching and explicit age-inappropriate sex resources going into schools via a growing number of external providers.

This is a problem that has been going on for a long time. Transgender Trend produced our guide to external RSHE providers in 2020.

The Department for Education (DfE) also published guidance on implementing the RSHE curriculum in 2020 which should have alerted schools to stop using such resources four years ago:

“Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material.” 

We documented which resources from external organisations were in breach of the new DfE (non-statutory) guidance in this post: The new Department for Education RSE guidance: what should schools look out for?

We have also provided parliamentary briefings on the groups going into schools, including Parliamentary briefing: teaching gender identity in the RSE curriculum and Teaching gender ideology in schools.

We have written about the link between ‘LGBT inclusion’ and ‘sex positive’ content here: Identity politics and sex education in schools.

In response to the publication of the new RSHE draft guidance there are already cries of outrage.

Critisisms fall into three main categories: 1. It’s Section 28 all over again 2. If we don’t teach children about sex they’ll learn it from online sources and that will be worse and 3. It isn’t happening, this is just culture wars.

We’ll take each of those points in turn.

1. It’s Section 28 all over again.

It’s the opposite. Gender identity ideology itself could be described as the new Section 28 as it erases same-sex attraction, by replacing ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity.’ One of the groups that will be most protected by the end of this teaching are gay and lesbian pupils, who are disproportionately represented in gender clinic referrals. Schools will have to stop redefining same-sex orientation as ‘same gender’ orientation.

The new draft RSHE guidance does not ban schools teaching about sexual orientation:

“We expect the majority of primary schools to teach about healthy loving relationships. Primary schools have discretion over whether to discuss sexual orientation or families with same-sex parents. At secondary, there should be an equal opportunity to explore the features of stable and healthy same-sex relationships, and secondary schools should ensure that this content is integrated into RSHE programmes of study rather than delivered as a standalone unit or lesson.”

“Families of many forms provide a nurturing environment for children, and can include single parent families, same-sex parents, families headed by grandparents, kinship carers, adoptive parents and foster parents/carers.”

Importantly it reverts to accurate legal terms:

“Pupils should also be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexual orientation and sexual health.”

This replaces the wording of the previous guidance which replaced sexual orientation with the undefined concept of ‘sexuality’ and erroneously suggested that ‘gender identity’ is a factual concept embedded in English law:

“Pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way.”

It’s worth noting that a children’s picture book at the centre of concerns about ‘promoting homosexuality’ to children which led to Section 28 – Jenni Lives with Eric and Martin – is a story about a girl who lives with ‘two dads.’ It places homosexuality in the adult world. There is no comparison with the children’s picture books today – now numbering over 60 – that tell suggestible children themselves that they may be ‘transgender.’

For those who say ‘but I knew I was gay in primary school’, this is interpreting childhood feelings through an adult lens. Intense feelings of attraction towards a person in childhood is not understood by the child at the time as an adult understands it in terms of sexual attraction (just the same as for heterosexuality). It may or may not be indicative of sexual orientation in adulthood.

2. If we don’t teach children about sex they’ll learn it from online sources.

This has been the justification for teaching children about extreme sexual practices: to ‘protect’ them from what they will inevitably see online. There are many ways of protecting children from online porn; introducing it in the classroom is not one of them. The new RSHE draft guidance does not change the science curriculum; this is where children will learn the basics of human reproduction in an age-appropriate way.

The new curriculum protects children through teaching them at a level they can understand:

“In primary schools, this can be delivered by focusing on boundaries, privacy, and children’s rights over their own bodies. Pupils should be able to recognise emotional, physical and sexual abuse, though without getting into the detail of sexual acts.”

Teachers talking to children about masturbation and sexual pleasure is not only age-inappropriate, it normalises the act of adults talking to children about sex. It tells a child that this is a normal subject of conversation between adult and child. If a child experiences an adult talking to them about adult sexual practices, it should feel weird; it should make the child feel uncomfortable enough to report it to a trusted adult.

The RSHE draft guidance expressly allows teachers to respond to individual children who have questions. A child asking questions about sexual practices beyond their years should be a red flag warning to teachers that there is a potential safeguarding issue to address: where has the child learned this information; has an adult been talking to the child; has the child experienced abuse?  Ensuring material is age-appropriate is a critical safeguard.

3. It isn’t happening.

Over the years we have documented the main trans and LGBT organisations and what they are teaching in both primary and secondary schools. All the following organisations teach gender identity as fact and that there are many ‘gender identities.’ Some of them helpfully state on their websites how many schools, teachers or children they have taught.

Stonewall. Stonewall schools guidance: a critical review

Is your school a Stonewall School Champion?

Stonewall turns its attention to children with SEND and autism

Do children need Stonewall’s LGBT inclusive teaching in primary schools?

No Outsiders. No Outsiders: Queering the primary classroom

No Outsiders scheme: still teaching children to be ‘trans’

According to the website, 77 schools have been visited for a No Outsiders teaching day, 18,700 children have been taught a No Outsiders lesson by Andrew Moffat and 4,200 staff trained. 

The Proud Trust. The Proud Trust: nothing to be proud of

Based in Manchester, they claim to be actively working with over 500 schools.

Diversity Mel. Diversity Mel, Pop’n’Olly and the targeting of primary school children

Mel Lane, a one-woman outfit, says she has been into 80 schools, trained over 2,000 staff and 8,000 children across Dorset.

Pop’n’Olly. Olly Pike: the Pop’n’Olly brand of queer theory for children

According to the Pop’n’Olly website trainer Jack Lynch “presented to over 100,000 primary age children via school workshops.”

Just Like Us. Just Like Us factsheet

Just Like Us have signed up 6,000 schools for their own branded School Diversity Week.

Diversity Role Models. Diversity Role Models – or models of conformity to a new ideology?

Educate and Celebrate. Educate and Celebrate – smashing heteronormativity in the classroom

(Educate and Celebrate has gone out of business this year)

Gendered Intelligence. Gendered Intelligence training session for teachers at ‘Kiss my Genders’

Gendered Intelligence has been working in schools since 2008.

Mermaids. What questions should a school be asking about Mermaids training for teachers?

The Rainbow Flag Award is a kitemark award scheme similar to the Stonewall School Champions scheme. It was begun by the Proud Trust, the Kite Trust, Allsorts and humankind, and was subsequently joined by groups holding regional franchises, including Yorkshire MESMAC, the Intercom Trust and SupportU. The Kite Trust claims to work with 3500 pupils and 250 staff a year.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of regional trans and LGBT organisations going into schools to teach children that gender identity is real and sex is not. It is happening and, according to the boastful figures on some of the websites, it is happening in a lot of schools across the UK.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Una-Jane Winfield

    Thank you. Thank you so, so much for the detailed rebuttals of the deceptive, manipulative claims of “queer” and “trans” apologists. Thank you for the list of (some of) the groups which go into schools to corrupt children. You are amazing!

  2. Comrade Keith

    Hi TGT

    I just want to thank you for the excellent work you’ve been doing. I’ve been following/donating to you for several years and am aware that I haven’t taken a moment just to say thank you.

    It seems like were finally turning the tide around this insanity, but the battle isn’t over yet. A Labour government may reverse all our progress and here in Wales we’re still ruled by gender ideological zealots.

    Keep up the good work!


    1. Transgender Trend

      Thank you!

  3. Guglielmo Marinaro

    I have heard head teachers and so on discussing this matter on the radio, and saying that there is no evidence that the problem is widespread. It looks to me as though it is far more widespread than they wish to admit. That question aside, if the problem exists at all, then surely something needs to be done about it immediately. The implication that it can be justifiably ignored unless and until it becomes widespread is highly irresponsible.

  4. Tory

    Thanks for all your work- and the assistance you have given me over the years.

    Will you be preparing a guide to responding to the consultation? Our secondary school will be inviting parent comments at a meeting at the beginning of June with a view to formulating a response.

    PS No Outsiders must surely have been in to more that 77 schools?

    1. Transgender Trend

      Yes we will. And yes, that was only one report from No Outsiders, we don’t know how many schools they have been into altogether.

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