Leading group of girls’ schools say they “don’t accept transgender students”

A group of UK’s leading girls’ schools will not accept transgender students because they fear that doing so will “jeopardize” their status as same-sex institutions.

The Girls’ Day School Trust, which represents 23 private schools and two academies, updated its gender identity guideline document last month and made it available to its members.

In a new section on admission, the GDST said their schools do not accept applications from students who are legally biologically male, even if they identify as women.

They said that a “gender identity” policy instead of gender on a student’s birth certificate would jeopardize “the status of GDST schools as same-sex schools” under the 2010 Gender Equality Act.

However, a student who is already starting the transition at one of the GDST schools should be supported to stay there as long as she wants, the document goes on to say.

GDST, which has a membership in institutions such as the 137-year-old Sutton High School in the greater London area, said the guide was produced “in collaboration with experts, teachers and students”.

A group of UK's leading girls' schools will not accept transgender students because they fear that doing so will “jeopardize” their status as same-sex institutions.  The Girls' Day School Trust (pictured, executive director Cheryl Giovannoni), which represents 23 private schools and two academies, reportedly updated its gender identity guidance document last month

A group of UK’s leading girls’ schools will not accept transgender students because they fear that doing so will “jeopardize” their status as same-sex institutions. The Girls’ Day School Trust (pictured, executive director Cheryl Giovannoni), which represents 23 private schools and two academies, reportedly updated its gender identity guidance document last month

However, the Association of School of College Leaders (ASCL) teachers’ union, which represents school principals, last night called on the government to issue clearer guidelines for schools on what to do if a student says they are transgender.

Julie McCulloch of the Association of School and College Leaders told The Telegraph that school principals are being forced to intervene in the controversial sex and gender debate as more and more children come out as transgender.

“It’s a really big issue and the lack of formal guidance for schools is something we’re concerned about,” she said.

School principals said schools without national guidelines on transgender issues rely on lobby groups.

In a new section, the GDST announced that their schools will not accept applications from students who are legally biologically male, even if they identify as women.  GDST, which includes institutions such as the 137-year-old Sutton High School in Greater London (pictured), said the guidelines were drawn up

In a new section, the GDST announced that their schools will not accept applications from students who are legally biologically male, even if they identify as women. GDST, which includes institutions such as the 137-year-old Sutton High School in Greater London (pictured), said the guidelines were drawn up “in collaboration with experts, teachers and students”.

The GDST guidelines were reportedly first published in 2016, but updated and shared with member schools in early December last year.

The panel’s fears are centered on the fact that, due to an exception relating to biological sex, it can only pursue a same-sex admissions policy without violating the Gender Equality Act.

“GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than legal gender recorded on a student’s birth certificate would jeopardize GDST schools’ status as same-sex schools under the law,” it said in the guidelines.

“For this reason, the GDST schools do not accept applications from students who are legally male.

“However, we will continue to monitor the legal interpretation of this exemption.”

Single sex schools face a dilemma of what to do when a student applies based on their gender identity rather than their biological gender.

Ms. McCulloch said this was “a very difficult area” for a school principal to grapple with.

Leave a Comment