England set to ban gender identity teaching in schools

Move to also bar sex education for children under the age of nine following concerns about some of the materials being used in schools

By AFP

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England's first gender identity development service for children, run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, closed last month after years of criticism that it was too quick to prescribe puberty blocking treatment. — AFP
England's first gender identity development service for children, run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, closed last month after years of criticism that it was too quick to prescribe puberty blocking treatment. — AFP

Published: Thu 16 May 2024, 2:38 PM

Schools in England will be banned from teaching gender identity under government proposals due to be published Thursday, with growing concern in the UK and elsewhere about the contentious issue.

England's first gender identity development service for children closed in March after years of criticism that it had been too quick to prescribe puberty blocking treatment.


"The contested theory of gender identity will not be taught," a Department for Education statement read.

"At secondary school pupils will learn about legally 'protected' characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender reassignment but the updated guidance is clear that schools should not teach about the concept of gender identity," it added, referring to pupils aged 11-18.


The proposals are contained in new guidance that will also ban sex education for children under the age of nine following concerns about some of the materials being used in schools.

"Parents rightly trust that when they send their children to school, they are kept safe and will not be exposed to disturbing content that is inappropriate for their age," the statement quoted Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as saying.

"That's why I was horrified to hear reports of this happening in our classrooms last year," he added.

"Sex education will not be taught before Year 5 (9-10 years) and at that point from a purely scientific standpoint," the statement said.

The guidance will also include additional content on suicide prevention and the risks of viewing content promoting self harm online.

The proposals will be subject to a nine-week consultation and will be statutory once finalised.


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