Briefing by Shelley Charlesworth.
The DfE made Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in England in 2020.
But whether by accident or design, the wording in the statutory guidance has allowed some of most truth-averse, political and ideological organisations into schools, where they are able to teach gender ideology under the cover of the government’s own regulations.
The guidance says:
“Pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity”
In fact, there is no law on ‘gender identity.’
And as well as there being no legal basis for it, there is no scientific evidence that we are born with a ‘gender identity’ and that it can override biological sex in determining whether a child is a boy or a girl.
But this is what is being taught in schools and it is justified as being about LGBT inclusion.
The term LGBT itself is constantly expanding. It’s become LGBTQIA+.
It’s worth making clear what these additional letters stand for:
Q is for queer, A is for asexual, the + covers any number of things such as drag, fetish, cross dressing and kink.
Queer in this context means to blur boundaries, to destabilise reality, to say it doesn’t matter what sex you are, your gender is the most important thing about you. This is a harmful way to teach children about sex.
It’s become so normalised that the biggest teacher’s union, the NEU, has an LGBTQ+ Educators Network.
The established PSHE organisations, who should have been holding the line against gender ideology and be speaking up for children, are themselves promoting the idea that sex is assigned and that we all have an innate gender identity.
This is why so many LGBT lobby groups are able to get into schools and teach ‘gender identity.’
The core ideas of these groups – which are that sex is assigned at birth, that gender identity is real and sex is a spectrum – can all be justified by the official status given to ‘gender identity’ in the DfE’s guidance. It has allowed the use of biologically and legally inaccurate language to become embedded in RSE materials. It results in teaching harmful to children by confusing them about sex.
Gender identity ideology is now found in most PSHE resources.
The big three sex education bodies, Brook, the PSHE Association, and the Sex Education Forum, all use this politicised language and promote these ideas.
“The set of internal feelings and convictions that you have about your gender is called your gender identity. This may not align with the gender you are assigned at birth, based on your sex.”
“man and woman are genders. They are social ideas about how people who have vulvas and vaginas and people who have penises and testicles should behave.”
The PSHE Association tells children at KS2, so aged 8 to 11, “that for some people gender identity does not correspond with their biological sex.”
The Sex Education Forum’s puberty handout has a section titled “How to adapt language to include menstruators of all genders.”
The Sex Education Forum is an established charity whose purpose is to promote RSE teaching and research – it should be a reliable industry body.
It works by forming partnerships with other RSE providers who can use its kitemark. But some of its partners are lobby groups seeking to change laws around sex and gender such as Stonewall and the Proud Trust.
The Sex Education Forum recommends LGBT lobbyists, Stonewall, Mermaids, Pop’n’Olly, and Just Like Us, as sources for further information.
BigTalkEducation, another Sex Education Forum partner, claim without any evidence that:
“Everyone has a gender identity, and a person’s feelings about their gender identity start early, the general consensus from child development specialists, states that this is usually around the ages of 2-3.”
So, the problem starts with gender identity being written into statutory guidance as if it has legal standing, and established PSHE providers, like the Sex Education Forum, giving the idea legitimacy. Then you have numerous unregulated PSHE providers who take it into schools.
Jigsaw is one of the bigger players. They are also highly secretive. Transgender Trend gets many complaints from parents about not being able to see their content. Perhaps this from a lesson for 10-11 yr-olds is why:
The teacher is told:
“If you have not used all of the Puberty Flashcards now is the time to show and explain the words that maybe new to the children. This includes, ovulation, masturbation and clitoris.
Masturbation can be simply explained as a time when a person touches their own private parts for pleasure. Stress this is perfectly normal and it is a very PRIVATE thing to do. The clitoris can be explained as the part of a woman’s sexual organs that gives her nice feelings when having sex and when masturbating.”
Jigsaw uses the story of racing driver Robert Cowell, who had sex change surgery in the 1940s, to teach 10 and 11 years old about transgender. They are told:
“Robert was transgender, which meant that he was born with a male body but felt like a female. The doctors … helped him start a special process called transitioning, where he changed his male body into a female one. Robert felt much happier living as a female and changed his name to Roberta.”
Some of the overtly political groups operating in schools are funded by government or local government. They are not specialist RSE providers, but go into schools claiming to teach diversity or to give LGBT workshops.
Educate and Celebrate – whose motto is ‘Smash heteronormativity’ – tells school nurseries to use the terms parent 1 and parent 2 rather than mum and dad, and to call children ‘students’ instead of girls and boys.
The Proud Trust have produced a sexual health toolkit for children aged 13 and up which uses language completely unmoored from sexed bodies. The toolkit contains a Dice Game based on a six-sided dice with a word on each side, Vulva (including vagina), Penis, Anus, Mouth, Hands/Fingers and Object. The game is to roll the two dice and then the class will discuss what sexual activity is possible using the two words that face upwards. This is an attempt to normalise anal sex for this age group.
They say “make no assumptions especially about which types of people have which types of body parts” and “unplanned pregnancies can occur if penis-in-vagina sex occurs and the person with the vagina has a womb.”
Gendered Intelligence, is a ‘trans’ only charity which campaigns to remove existing safeguards on prescribing puberty blockers. They give workshops in schools which tell children ““Young people can come to recognise they are trans at any age. No-one is ‘too young’ to have their gender respected…. Age does not tell you when someone will think, know or be certain that they are trans.”
This last example highlights all that is wrong about the current free-for-all in sex education provision.
It comes from a Just Like Us workshop for children aged 14 and says:
“Someone’s gender identity can change, their gender expression can change, their biological sex can be changed, and their sexuality can change.”
Just Like Us was set up by an ex Stonewall employee, it gets funding from the Lottery and big corporate donors like Mega, they are involved in political campaigning, they offer free LGBT+ lesson plans for every subject for pupils from reception class and up. They run Pride clubs in schools and they’ve signed up 6000 schools for their own branded School Diversity Week.
They got official backing when the DfE tweeted support for their School Diversity Week 2021 saying “Education is about teaching respect for all + celebrating diversity and we want schools and colleges to be welcoming places for LGBT+ pupils and families.”
This is a group that tells children the big untruth that biological sex can be changed. There is a very complicated knot to be untangled here. Establishing some sort of quality control over resources used in RSE would be a good start.