Teachers should not urge tomboy hunters to change their gender just because they like to dress or play
- For guidelines, see the government's instructions for teachers who speak to children
- This resulted in controversial transgender charities being banned from education
- Ministers urged schools to reject materials asking children to question gender
Tomboy hunters should not be encouraged to believe they should change genders just because they enjoy dressing up or playing.
The guidelines are included in new government directives for teachers talking to children about transgender issues. The move has resulted in controversial transgender charities like mermaids being banned from any role in education.
It came after Gender Equality Secretary Liz Truss announced the government rejected calls by activists for trans rights to allow adults to change their legal gender at will.
Ministers are now calling on schools to reject teaching materials that encourage children to question their gender if they like clothes and toys that are normally associated with the opposite sex.
The guidelines are included in new government directives for teachers talking to children about transgender issues (file image).
The NHS figures show that the number of girls trying to change gender and become boys has risen sharply in recent years. Some experts believe this is because tomboy hunters who are uncomfortable with stereotypical feminine clothing and activities are pushed into believing they were "born in the wrong body".
The New School Guide was hailed as a major breakthrough by parents who fear that trans groups are encouraging children to change genders because of the clothes they wear or the toys they play with.
"You shouldn't reinforce harmful stereotypes by, for example, suggesting that children are of the opposite sex because of their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer," the Education Department's Council tells schools. “The resources used to teach this subject must always be age-appropriate and evidence-based.
"Materials that suggest that gender stereotype mismatch should be considered synonymous with a different gender identity should not be used, and you should not partner with any outside agency or organization that produces such material."
That has drawn attention to the work of Mermaids, a prominent trans-rights charity that provides training for public bodies.
It came after Equality Minister Liz Truss (pictured) announced that the government had rejected calls by activists for trans rights to allow adults to change their legal gender at will
A mermaids training course last year covered a 12-point gender spectrum that ranged from a Barbie doll in a pink dress on the "female" side to a GI Joe in military clothing on the opposite "male" end.
The new guidelines came out after a long campaign by groups questioning children's medical transition.
Stephanie Davies-Arai from Transgender Trend said, “We asked for that. We are very happy about these instructions. "
The Safe Schools Alliance said the guidance should mean mermaids are now excluded from any role in educating teachers or advising schools.
It said: “These instructions make it clear that mermaids are not suitable for the training of teachers and schools. All policies that they or their affiliates have consulted need to be reviewed now. "
Mermaids told The Mail on Sunday that while the charity offers training for teachers, it does not provide classroom talk and classroom materials for students in England and Wales and would therefore not be affected by the rule changes announced last week.
A spokesperson said: “Contrary to much online speculation, we are not suggesting that toy and clothing choices are a sole or primary indicator of a child's gender identity.
“However, like any child, trans children sometimes express part of their personality by choosing certain toys and clothes.
"We accept that this point requires careful and subtle expression and we are working hard to improve the clarity of our messages."
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