Gender identity lessons set to be encouraged for city primary schools

Image By LucéLia Ribeiro

Primary schools across Brighton and Hove are being encouraged to teach children more about gender identities and diverse sexual orientations.

A statement encouraging schools to deliver “non-statutory sex education” as well as the required relationship, and sex education (RSE) introduced on the national curriculum from September goes before of the city councillors on Monday, 15 June.

Members of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee are asked to approve a statement to all schools which said: “Our city is well-known for its free-thinking, open and inclusive nature.

“We promote acceptance and respect for difference. These things are at the heart of what we do.

“We would like to thank our schools for the work they do to plan and deliver personal, social, health and economic education.

“This curriculum area helps ensure that our children and young people have the knowledge and skills they need to lead safe, happy and healthy lives now and in the future.

“We whole-heartedly support the work schools do in partnership with our PSHE service and the Allsorts Youth Project to encourage an inclusive approach to relationships education.

“This ensures that all children and young people see their families represented in school.

“It enables them to understand and respect in age-appropriate ways the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities in Brighton and Hove, and prepares them for life in the modern world.”

In addition to the new requirements from central government, schools in Brighton and Hove are encouraged to continue to promote LGBT inclusive approaches.

The report said: “Our hope is that Brighton and Hove’s primary schools will choose to deliver non-statutory sex education – as many have already been doing for some time – as this supports learning about puberty and helps them with the questions children ask.

“We will continue to support schools to listen to any concerns raised by their parent and carer communities about this part of the curriculum.

“We hope schools will be able to offer reassurance and agree shared values.

“Guidance for schools produced locally will continue to promote LGBT inclusive approaches.”

The non-statutory elements are described as:

  • preventing sexism
  • preventing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
  • supports wellbeing,
  • ensures all pupils and students are prepared for life and work in the modern world.

Brighton and Hove’s guidance encourages schools to use the PSHE curriculum to challenge prejudice including racism, religious hate crime and attacks on disabled people.

The council’s move comes as from September relationships, and health education becomes a statutory part of the primary curriculum.

Sex education becomes compulsory in secondary schools, with parents still given the option to “opt-out”.

Government guidance for primary school pupils said: “This starts with pupils being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them.

“From the beginning of primary school, building on early education, pupils should be taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy.”

Younger children will learn about personal space, boundaries and showing respect to others.

Internet safety is a crucial element, including the risk of picture sharing.

Secondary school teaching is described in the government guide as helping young people know what a good relationship is like and identify when it is not right.

The government guidance said: “Effective RSE does not encourage early sexual experimentation.

“It should teach young people to understand human sexuality and to respect themselves and others.”

The Children Young People and Skills Committee is due to hold a virtual meeting from 4pm on Monday, 15 June.

The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website

  1. A Thomas Reply

    Brilliant that orientations will be taught. However it is not possible to teach “gender identity” without embedding sexism and homophobia.
    This toolkit teaches girls that “aren’t girly” that they must be in the wrong body. It teaches lesbians that straight men with penises are also lesbians.
    This is gaslighting, embedding sexist stereotypes, and creating a lack of clarity around the language children use to describe their bodies and sexuality.
    Moreover their request to treat children as the opposite sex and to do this without even notifying parents is a scandal. It destroys basic safeguarding. This is a dangerous approach and must be challenged.

  2. Rachel Rooney Reply

    Gender Identity is a political ideology – more akin to an imposed religion. It is not scientific yet is taught as fact. The numbers of young adults de-transitioning and the upsurge in autistic children being led down a path that ends in medicalisation and sterilisation should be enough for LEAs to halt the promotion of this dangerous wrong body narrative.

  3. E Evans Reply

    Where do all these schools get the extra money to go above and beyond what the government is suggesting?
    Gender ideology is sexist and homophobic so I’m not sure how it can claim to be teaching about these unless of course they are promoting sexism and homophobia.
    Children need biological facts about their bodies. Gender ideology is based on sexist stereotypes about what makes s girl and what makes a boy. Let children be children.

  4. Chris Reply

    It would help if children were taught the basics as a priority – reading, writing and arithmetic. I know that’s an old fashioned idea but it does open the way for children to then explore life with a bit more purpose and to have a more rounded viewpoint. Children are naturally enquiring and, once they have the ability to do so, will be better placed to make reasoned judgements about themselves rather than having fashionable ideology pumped into them as fact when they are unable to understand the full details and implications.

  5. Jane Reply

    Primary Schools should focus on tackling bullying related to appearance or interests. What they don’t do so very well is focus on challenging restrictive notions of what boys and girls should look like, wear, or be interested in. Instead, we have notions of an innate ‘gender identity’ (which is a sexist theory based on steretypes) which means children who don’t feel themselves to conform to stereotypes are led down a path of believing they are not ‘proper’ boys or girls. Gender identity theory CREATES dysphoria. It makes children who feel different (for any number of reasons, including autism, previous trauma, abuse and co-morbid mental health problems) more likely to think they are ‘trans’. Children who believe they are ‘trans’ are more likely to have real trouble integrating their growing male body into their ‘female’ identity, and more likely to be led down a path of puberty blockers and cross sex hormones later on. The prescription of puberty blockers is about to be challenged in the High Court.
    So-called ‘trans’ toolkits have been withdrawn in 14 other Councils, under threat of Judicial Review, since they don’t conform to Equality and Safeguarding laws. Why Brighton thinks it is immune to the threat of Judicial Review is perplexing.

  6. Helen Saxby Reply

    Allsorts Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit tells girls that if they see a boy in their changing room they have to believe he’s a girl if he says he is. It tells girls to pick another sport if they are unhappy sharing their race with a boy who identifies as a girl. Gender identity promotes sexism, it contradicts Equality Act provision to the detriment of girls, and it holds up gender stereotypes as more important than biological sex. If you don’t want this regressive ideology taught to your children there is a growing number of parents who agree with you and they have had similar toolkits removed from local authorities all over the country. Look up Safe Schools Alliance to find local support from parents and teachers who are challenging this.

  7. Chris Reply

    I can only agree with the comments above. I am a lesbian parent of 2 primary school children. Please do not confuse same sex sexual attraction with gender identity. What you are proposing makes my life as a lesbian parent so much harder, and it makes supporting my children to understand our family set up is normal (some lesbians are butch, thats totally okay and does not make them trans men in denial) really difficult. If you must, separate these issues. I would love children to learn about gay and lesbian relationships. But that is nothing to do with trans people. And yes, trans bullying is not okay. But also any gender stereotypes are wrong.

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