Debate Magazine

Brighton Council ‘Proud’ Of Asking Kids To Choose Gender

By Eowyn @DrEowyn



From Sky News: Brighton and Hove City Council wrote to thousands of parents asking them to confirm their primary school places this week. It wrote to parents urging them to support their child’s choice of “gender identity” and asked them to leave the form blank if the child had “another gender identity” altogether.

Brighton and Hove City Council reportedly wrote: “We recognize that not all children and young people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth or may identify as a gender other than male or female, however the current systems (set nationally) only record gender as male or female. Please support your child to choose the gender they most identify with. Or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss with your child’s school.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told The Sun the letter was “utterly ridiculous”. He said: “Schools should be teaching kids to read and write, not prompting them to consider gender swaps.”

Council Leader Warren Morgan defended the letter, tweeting: “I’m proud my council is leading on #Trans work. If it helps even one kid be themselves or tackle bullying, then headlines don’t matter.”

Cllr Emma Daniel, head of Brighton’s equalities committee, said she was aware of “concerns” over the wording. She told Sky News: “For most parents, the form’s straightforward, you just tick male or female, as you normally would. Or a very small minority of parents, they have children who are struggling with their gender identity – it’s really important that they can access our schools safely, get their education like anyone else, and feel fine about that.

“So all we’ve done is put a guidance note on there for the families that that applies to.”

Excerpt from the Brighton & Hove Trans Needs Assessment, 2015

Excerpt from the Brighton & Hove Trans Needs Assessment, 2015

Due to all the negative press they’ve received, the Council issued a statement:

“You may have seen reports in the media about our pupil registration form, which we have sent out this week to parents who have applied for school places.

We would like to make it clear that parents and carers are not being asked to speak with their child about their gender or gender identity. We will be reviewing the wording of our form to see whether we can in future make this clearer.

For the vast majority of families stating their child’s gender as male or female is very straightforward. We have put some additional text in the form this year that we hoped would help the small number of families who will struggle to respond to the question about gender and encouraging these families to speak with their child’s school. This was in response to calls from families, young people and schools to show an inclusive approach to gender.

There are increasing numbers of children and young people nationally identifying as Trans. Many Trans people nationally report having been bullied when they were at school. By acknowledging the range of gender identities in our school communities we are helping ensure schools are safe spaces for everyone. “


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