Stonewall

Stonewall

Stonewall provides extensive guidance on RSE to schools across the UK. Its lesson plans and materials are recommended by the Department for Education.

Stonewall lists the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Government Equalities Office as sources of grant funding.

However, Stonewall guidance for schools contains multiple inaccuracies and concerns, as reported by Transgender Trend:

  1. Biological inaccuracies and misinformation likely to confuse children
  2. Legal inaccuracies including information likely to mislead schools
  3. Promotion of ideology and reinforcement of sex stereotypes
  4. Serious safeguarding concerns
  5. Compelled speech and belief

Transgender Trend’s full review can be viewed here:

STONEWALL SCHOOLS GUIDANCE: A CRITICAL REVIEW

Stonewall
www.transgendertrend.com

Below are some extracts of the findings:

Safeguarding

The first rule of safeguarding is never to promise confidentiality to a child, or ‘keep secrets.’ Statutory school guidance stresses the importance of working together with parents. Stonewall guidance encourages teachers to act alone and to encourage a child down a path which may have serious life-long medical consequences, without informing parents and even actively deceiving parents by hiding the fact that the school is treating the child as the opposite sex. The guidance advises an approach and actions which may be professionally dangerous

The latest guide also goes much further than previous guides in giving advice that raises serious safeguarding concerns. It gives unqualified extensive advice about the most vulnerable children: children with SEND, including autism. It also emphasises and extends the encouragement of children to transition; repeatedly stresses the importance of keeping secrets from parents and other children.

Stonewall guidance advises schools to go much further than their duty to prevent discrimination, and into areas way beyond a teacher’s professional competence and expertise. A teacher is not a clinical psychologist and therefore not qualified to decide that it would be beneficial for an individual child to ‘socially transition’. Stonewall suggests that the only legitimate approach in schools is to encourage the child towards transition, including medical transition. Full social transition is not advised by clinical professionals. It is not a school’s role to encourage a child to believe they can change sex when this is impossible. 

Inaccuracies (biological and legal)

We found that Stonewall guidance eschews biological and scientific facts in favour of a message to children that their inner feelings override their biological sex and that being a boy or a girl is a matter of personal choice.

We found legal inaccuracies and information about legal duties which would potentially be misleading for schools, including misinformation and misrepresentation of protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 (EA2010) which could confuse schools about the legal rights of different groups.

Promotion of ideology

Stonewall guidance advises schools to adopt ‘affirmation’ and social transition as the only approach towards children with gender dysphoria without including information that this approach is new and experimental, and without including evidence to support their advice. The guidance advises the encouragement of children towards transition and normalises medical transition. It offers no alternative approach and no alternative explanation of a child’s distress or confusion about being a girl or being a boy other than that the child is ‘transgender.’ 

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