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Closed petition Remove references to 'gender identity' from relationships education guidance

Since 2020 the DfE has published guidance for relationships and sex education. This says "Pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way". Gender identity is a social construct, and not recognised in law.

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There's no evidence that we're born with a ‘gender identity’, and we do not believe that schools should be teaching children about this concept. We also believe that teaching school children about gender identity is inconsistent with the Education Act (section 406), which prohibits 'political indoctrination'. The Government should remove all references to 'gender identity' from guidance on relationships and sex education.

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Government responded

This response was given on 31 January 2023

We are developing transgender guidance for schools to be published later this year. We will consider, in parallel, whether changes need to be made to the RSHE guidance to align with the new guidance.

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The Department for Education believes that all children should be supported whilst growing up. Our schools and teachers are committed to helping all pupils to succeed and reach their potential in a safe and respectful environment.

To prepare children for life in modern Britain, pupils need to understand the world in which they are growing up. RSHE is therefore designed to give pupils the knowledge they need to lead happy, safe, and healthy lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference.

We recognise that issues relating to sex and gender can be complex and sensitive for schools to navigate, which is why we are developing guidance for schools. It is important that we are able to consider a wide range of views, so we will undertake a public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication.

We are also aware that some parents are concerned about what content their children are being taught regarding these issues, and we are planning to write to schools shortly to schools to be clear that we expect them to respond positively to all reasonable requests from parents to see curriculum materials. The letter will also clarify what the law allows them to share, including that schools can allow parents to view resources in person, rather than electronically.

We will consider whether changes need to be made to the RSHE guidance to ensure it aligns with this new transgender guidance and will consult on any proposed amendments in parallel with the transgender guidance.

Department for Education