Transgender students require extended laws that permit school admission based on the gender they identify with. Unless it is a single-sex school, gender identity usually does not matter while students get admitted. But with transgender students, there is a serious need to rethink these procedures.
And the UK could be the first one to address this issue on a higher level. Elite schools in Britain have decided to reconsider the procedures and change them in order to allow transgender students to get admitted to the school. They plan to admit students based on their gender and not sex.
Non-Binary and Progressive
The Independent reported that the schools plan to admit based on gender and not sex in order to avoid any legal challenges. Not just that, this new progressive rule will keep parents in line too. Kilgraston School in Perthshire, an all-girls school is a part of this new wave. The school says it “would not rule out” admission of trans-girls who are in the process of transitioning. And they soon received an inquiry about the possibility.
Another school in London, the St Paul’s School for boys also stated that individuals do not have to be biologically male” to apply.
According to The Independent, the headmistress of the Bolton School Girls’ Division showed their support towards the change as well. The headmistress said,
“The world is becoming less binary and depending on where it goes we will have to adapt”
The progressive idea is refreshing and if implemented, a lot of students will understand inclusivity not as a theoretical idea but as a lifestyle. And a reality of life outside.
Even though Bolton School Girls’ Division does not presently admit transgender students, they plan on changing that. With new rules set in place, they may soon alter their uniforms to include trousers. They said, “There are some young women that feel more comfortable in trousers and it might be because they want to identify as male either now or in the future”.
Yes! We are all for this. Gender performance is an important part of being treated as an equal, being treated just like the others. The introduction of trousers can help those who are transitioning as well. And their conception of inclusivity is not limited to that.
The schools have realised that they have to change the way they address their students as well. Gender binary should stay in books, as a part of history. And to add weight to this progressive initiative, along with the gender-neutral uniforms, St Albans High School for Girls has changed the term “Head Girl” to “Head of School”.
Lawsuits From Parents
The students will more or less have to deal with any change that comes their way. But dealing with their parents is a whole other ball game. Many campaigners of this initiative are scared that these changes in admission policies could mean lawsuits from the parents. Parents who do not believe in inclusivity or are against the transgender students, if not the entire community.
Here’s when you weigh out the options and check on the priorities. What is more important at this stage? What is the greater good? Well, we are glad at least the discussion is happening. Despite the fact that only the elite schools in UK are doing this, it is still a deep-rooted change in the education system. Hopefully, more schools will opt into this and soon transgender individuals will be allowed to identify like they want to be.
The Official Guidelines
To make sure these changes are on lines of legal limitations, creating the official guidelines will take a while.
According to Pink News, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is yet to put forth official guidelines to make sure schools support trans children. And it has been pending for over a year. And upon being asked, a spokesperson from EHRC said it will be released “in due course”.
Whether this will actually be realised or not is crucial to the progress of education system in the UK. But according to The Independent, “Leaders of single-sex schools told The Independent they would look at each application from a trans child on a “case-by-case” basis – rather than insisting pupils can only be admitted on their sex at birth.”
But if that is really the case, then who has the power to declare someone eligible? The legal guidelines can take away this power from the individual education institute. This will also provide legal aid to the transgender community, and keep the schools in check.
How difficult do you think it would be to make this happen in countries across the world? Do you think gender identity matters in a school? Should we all just have gender-neutral clothing? What do you think? Let us know.