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Ask the Lawyer: What do I need to consider when applying to schools for my trans kid?

Joseph McCormick September 13, 2017

PinkNews brings you the latest in a series of features which sees your real questions answered by leading lawyers at Simpson Millar.

This feature answers things to consider when enrolling a transgender child in a new school.

A Simpson Millar lawyer says: “Choosing what school you want your child to attend is a big decision, especially if your child is transgender, as you will want to ensure their school is inclusive and has the specialist knowledge and experience required to support them.

School bus

“You may therefore want to know what is taken into consideration when you apply for a school place. The starting point for most admission authorities will be the admission arrangements, which can vary from school to school.

“Schools are permitted to prioritise admitting children with social/medical needs over other applicants. We would argue that a transgender pupil should have priority admission under this criterion. But, not all schools include this priority in the admission arrangements and even if they do, it does not mean that any child who has a social/medical need will be given priority for admission.

“The process for applying under a social/medical needs criterion will vary between admission authorities. Normally, parents are required to submit information on the social/medical needs of their child with supporting evidence to a Panel, which is arranged by the admission authority who will decide whether their needs can only be met at that school.”

They add: “If they are satisfied this is the case, the child will normally be offered a place. But, in our experience Panels often conclude that social/medical needs can be met by any school and they are not given priority admission.

“Although the admission arrangements for each school can vary, schools have a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 not to discriminate against pupils with a protected characteristic, such as gender reassignment. Therefore, if a school refuses admission to a pupil who is transgender or questioning their gender identity it might be possible to argue that this is discriminatory.

“If your child has been refused admission to a school or if you believe they are being discriminated against at school, please get in touch with one of Simpson Millar’s specialist Education Law solicitors on 0800 260 5005 or click here to request a call-back.”

If your child has been refused admission to a school or if you believe they are being discriminated against at school, please get in touch with one of Simpson Millar’s specialist Education Law solicitors on 0800 260 5005 or click here to request a call-back.

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Disclosure: Simpson Millar is a PinkNews advertiser

More: Ask the Lawyer, Ask the Lawyer with Simpson Millar, simpson millar

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