Primary schools should include books that feature transgender parents in the curriculum, according to Government-backed guidance from headteachers.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) has asked for school leaders to “celebrate diversity and ensure visibility of trans perspectives,” in a document that is the first of its kind in the UK.
However, not all have taken kindly to the recommendations designed to tackle transphobia in schools.
The new guidelines advise that primary schools stock books and learning resources that feature transgender parents.
This aims to make trans pupils and children with trans parents feel more positively represented.
It will also help schools “become places where all staff can thrive and feel confident to be authentic about who they are,” the guidance states.
The advice is expected to be rolled out to primary schools across the country and is endorsed by Oxfam and the Department of Education.
The NAHT’s general secretary, Paul Whiteman, said: “School leaders should develop and maintain an environment that welcomes diversity, champions equality and encourages staff members to be their own authentic selves.”
Whiteman’s words are significant as figures released earlier this year show that nearly half of transgender schoolchildren have attempted suicide.
Relationship and sex education should also be more inclusive of “trans people and their experiences, including in discussions about online safety,” the document said.
Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, welcomed the guidance.
She said that for trans people, a lack of understanding can be “serious and distressing,” leaving people “vulnerable to victimisation” or “forced to hide who they really are”.
The leading activist previously said that the UK was “unsafe” for transgender people and that the UK can no longer call itself a “beacon of equality”.
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But the plans have come under fire from critics who say the move will “confuse” children.
Chris McGovern, Head of the right-wing pressure group Campaign for Real Education, said: “Indoctrination in the politically correct anxieties, passions and neuroses of adults has no place in school.
“This latest intrusion into childhood will cause upset, confusion and trauma for many youngsters,” he added.
The former Government advisor’s comments followed him posting on The Conservative Woman website to label trans-inclusive policymaking as the “sinister side of the education establishment”.
Laura Perrins, co-editor for The Conservative Woman, said: “This radical, ideological guidance is being introduced with no consultation with parents and has a real potential to confuse children.”
Perrin’s recent articles on the site include “Gay marriage opened the door to the trans madness” and “The trans-agenda is worthy of a fascist state and must be stopped‘.
She also tweeted that “Children are not ‘assigned’ a gender at birth. They are born biologically male or female. Enough!”
The Times caused outrage earlier this year when it used a trans activist’s mental health to question young people’s claims of gender dysphoria.
A healthcare survey that asked school children “Do you feel the same inside as the gender you were born with?” was criticised by The Daily Telegraph, who demanded censorship of trans issues.