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Liz Truss says Government’s new trans guidance for schools ‘doesn’t go far enough’

Liz Truss fears that activists will be able to “exploit loopholes” and leave children at risk as she calls for new transgender guidance at schools to be ramped up.

On Tuesday, the Government told schools across the country to presume that children cannot change their gender.

This guidance, part of what has been deemed a “parent first” approach, is the Government’s first on the issue, and means teachers should tell parents if their child wishes to transition.

Liz Truss says the new trans guidance for schools ‘doesn’t go far enough’ – and has called for ‘a change in the law of the land’
Liz Truss says the new trans guidance for schools ‘doesn’t go far enough’ – and has called for ‘a change in the law of the land’

Staff and students have also been told they do not have to use children’s preferred pronouns, and will not be sanctioned if they do not.

However, some teachers have already pledged to ignore the guidance, with the National Education Union saying that it is merely under consultation and is not legally binding.

Ms Truss, the South West Norfolk MP, has been spearheading efforts to toughen the regulations – arguing that more has to be done to protect young people and single-sex spaces.

“Today's guidance does not go far enough,” she said on Tuesday.

“During the many months we have been waiting for its publication, it has become increasingly clear that non-statutory guidance will provide insufficient protection and clarity, and that a change in the law of the land is required.

“That is why I am today asking the Government to back my Private Members’ Bill which would change the law in this area to ensure children are fully protected.

“I fear that activists and others will be able to exploit loopholes in the guidance and the existing legal framework to pursue their agenda, leaving children at risk of making irreversible changes and with single-sex spaces not sufficiently protected.”

Ms Truss presented her major bill to parliament earlier this month. It aims to “strengthen safeguards for young people and women”.

She hopes this will protect women’s rights to single-sex spaces, prevent formal state recognition of social transitioning by people aged under 18, and ensure that under-18s cannot undergo body-altering hormone therapies.

Passing Ms Truss’ the Health and Equality Acts (Amendment) Bill would mean:

- Sex unambiguously means biological sex, protecting single-sex spaces in law

- Social transitioning is not recognised by schools or the state for under-18s

- Puberty blockers and hormone treatment for gender dysphoria banned for the under-18s

The bill will go for a second reading at parliament on March 15.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild was contacted for comment on the new trans guidance for schools, but he was unable to provide a response.

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