British Attorney General Suella Braverman has said that schools which only offer ‘gender netural’ toilets are acting unlawfully.
She added that educational institutions have a duty of care to offer ‘single-sex toilets’ to pupils.
“Schools can deny a biologically and legally male child, who identifies as transgender, from using girls’ toilets’,” Braverman wrote in The Telegraph on Wednesday (10).
According to her, schools can refuse to allow a biologically male child to wear a girls’ uniform or participate in girls’ single-sex sports. Single-sex schools can also refuse admission for a child of the opposite biological sex who identifies as transgender, she has revealed.
She clarified that schools should take the advice of an independent medical practitioner before affirming the gender preference of a child where it differs from their birth sex.
“Many schools and teachers believe – incorrectly – that they are under an absolute legal obligation to treat children who are gender questioning according to the preference of the child. I want to make it clear that it is possible, within the law, for schools to refuse to use the preferred opposite-sex pronouns of a child,” she added.
Braverman is all set to lay out the government’s advice on how schools should deal with transgender pupils later on Wednesday.
She wrote in The Telegraph: “When it comes to gender-questioning children, we should always have compassion. At the same time, our compassion should never blind us to the harm it is possible to do to children by misplaced affirmation.
“True diversity and equality are at risk when we divide everyone into separate groups and then silence views which may challenge those group identities. This is not what democracy is about and it is not what the law requires.”
The Attorney General also warned that schools which ‘socially transition’ children without the consent of parents could be in breach of their duty of care and face lawsuits.
Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch highlighted that children usually ‘avoid’ using gender-neutral lavatories at school. According to women’s rights groups, they are ‘disadvantaged’ by gender-neutral toilets that contain both urinals and cubicles.
The Home Office, BBC, Channel 4 offices all have gender-neutral facilities. The Old Vic theatre also scrapped its men and women toilets and replaced them with ‘self-selection’ facilities that can be used by both genders almost three years ago.
Also, NHS hospitals have spent more than £800,000 on gender-neutral toilets since 2018.