UK directs public schools not to teach ‘gender identity’ topics in school

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The government of the United Kingdom is instructing schools not to teach children about concepts of gender theory as part of an overhaul to sex education. 

The Department of Education’s guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education is being changed to exclude controversial viewpoints and inappropriate content.

“Following multiple reports of disturbing materials being used in Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) lessons, the Department for Education has published updated guidance that will ensure content is factual, appropriate and that children have the capacity to fully understand everything they are being taught,” a report from the department published Wednesday reads.

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UK Department of Education

A view of the Department for Education in Westminster, London. The department has issued guidance directing schools not to teach concepts such as “gender identity” or the “gender spectrum” following the publication of the Cass Review, a bombshell report that found gross negligence in healthcare for children expressing gender dysphoria. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)

The new guidance will limit all sex education lessons to students aged 9 and above. It will also bolster parental rights to stay informed on all materials being presented to their children to ensure age appropriateness. 

Most notably, the government is explicitly instructing teachers not to teach “the contested theory of gender identity” or the idea of a gender “spectrum.”

“At secondary school pupils will learn about legally ‘protected’ characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender reassignment, but the updated guidance is clear that schools should not teach about the concept of gender identity,” the report states.

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Trans-rights activists take part in a protest against the ban on hormone blockers in London, England.

After Dr Hilary Cass delivered her report on NHS gender identity services for children and young people, analysis found most research underpinning clinical guidelines, hormone treatments and puberty blockers to be low quality and the treatments for gender dysphoria have been suspended. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

“In light of the Cass Review, it is important that schools take a cautious approach to teaching about this sensitive topic, and do not use any materials that present contested views as fact, including the view that gender is a spectrum,” the report continues. 

The Cass Review is an independent report commissioned by the National Health Service that documented practices and care for children reporting gender identity disorders.

Named for its primary author, Dr. Hilary Cass, the review found medical professionals reported “no guidance, no evidence, no training” regarding gender disorders and were “afraid” to discuss the topic. 

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Dr Hilary Cass

Retired consultant pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass speaking about the publication of the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People (The Cass Review) at the PA Media offices in west London. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

“Parents rightly trust that when they send their children to school, they are kept safe and will not be exposed to disturbing content that is inappropriate for their age,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “That’s why I was horrified to hear reports of this happening in our classrooms last year.”

The guidance is open to public consultation for nine weeks. Following this period, it will become statutory, and school officials will be required to comply.



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