It is reported today that the Education Authority in Northern Ireland is working on guidance for schools who are supporting or are likely to support a transgender pupil, to address the current guidance vacuum that faces schools today.
We welcome this move from the EA, and are pleased that our Executive Director, Ellen Murray is a member of the Steering Committee for the project. The process of developing and finessing the guidance will take some time, but will result in improved confidence from schools to support trans children and young people within their walls, and will undoubtedly benefit the many hundreds of families across Northern Ireland who currently have trans children and young people in them.
The Department of Education published research on the experiences of LGBTQ+ pupils in post-primary education in 2017, which found that the majority of transgender respondents did not feel safe at their schools in Northern Ireland, and that only a small minority of schools covered transgender topics in their curriculum. This among other things contributes to many of the difficulties that trans children and young people face in their educational careers and across the whole of their lives here in Northern Ireland.
We look forward to helping this guidance be the best it can be, and to the significant benefits it brings to schools, families and young people themselves upon its release.