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Elite single-sex schools are changing their admissions policies to allow transgender students for the first time

Emma Powys Maurice December 1, 2019

Several headteachers are now admitting children "based on gender" rather than sex (Pexels)

Several same-sex private schools in the UK are considering changing their policies to admit transgender pupils for the first time, a report by The Independent has revealed.

Headteachers in some elite schools are now saying they are admitting children “based on gender” rather than sex to avert potential legal challenges from parents who object to the progressive new policies.

The all-girls Kilgraston School in Perthshire says it “would not rule out” admitting trans girls in the process of transitioning, and recently received an inquiry from a family about the possibility.

Similarly, St Paul’s School for boys in London, whose alumni includes former chancellor George Osborne, is now saying that pupils don’t need to be “biologically male” to apply.

“The world is becoming less binary and depending on where it goes we will have to adapt,” the headmistress of Bolton School Girls’ Division told The Independent.

Although the school doesn’t currently admit transgender students, it is considering doing so following legal advice. They may also soon allow students to wear trousers as part of the uniform.

George Osbourne’s former school now says pupils pupils do not need to be “biologically male” to apply (stpaulsschool.org.uk)

“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,” the head explained.

Gender-neutral uniforms are becoming increasingly common, and St Albans High School for Girls has even changed the terms “Head Girl” to “Head of School” in a bid to be more inclusive of different gender identities.

However, campaigners are warning that changes to admissions policies could trigger lawsuits from parents who object to transgender students.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has yet to publish official guidelines on how schools should support trans children, having promised to issue this more than a year ago. An EHRC spokesperson told The Independent it would be released “in due course”.

More: all-boys school, all-girls school, private education, single-sex schools, transgender students

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