Transphobia in Education: DfE responds

I have just received a response, reproduced below, to my letter to the education secretary. From private correspondence, I suspect they had not previously talked to GIRES (Although I do not know for sure – I’m weeks behind on much of my email!) so hopefully this did make some difference.

Thank you for your email 25 November to the Secretary of State for Education copied to the Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone and Dr Julian Huppert MP regarding your concern that the recently published Schools White Paper does not make reference to transphobic bullying. As you will appreciate the Secretary of State receive a large volume of correspondence and is unable to reply to each one personally. On this occasion I have been asked to reply.

The commitment in the Schools White Paper to tackle bullying covers all forms of bullying especially prejudice-based bullying. The White Paper highlights homophobic and Special Education Needs and/or Disability bullying as an example of forms of bullying which has a high rate of prevalence but is not being tackled effectively.

The Government wants schools to take a zero- tolerance approach to tackling all forms of bullying and to instil good behaviour in their pupils. This may require schools drawing on the experience and expertise of various organisations that specialise in preventing certain forms of bullying to help them develop their bullying strategies. It is the Government’s intention to work with organisations that have a proven track record in their field including GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) in order that schools can draw on their expertise to tackle transphobic bullying.

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