Miriam Cates, the Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said: “Parents who spend an awful lot of money sending their child to some of the best schools in the country are expecting a top-notch education and pastoral care, and would probably be horrified at some of the gender ideology in these schools.”
The Government’s draft guidance states that “no child should be allowed to share a room with a child of the opposite sex”.
If a child questioning their gender does not wish to share a room with another child of the same sex, alternative arrangements should be sought where possible but only after the school has considered its safeguarding obligations, the guidance adds.
Schools have struggled to respond to a rise in the number of children confused about their gender.
Top private schools have installed gender-inclusive toilets, warned staff that they must address pupils by their preferred pronouns and introduced gender-neutral uniforms, The Telegraph has found.
At Sevenoaks School in Kent, its policy for transgender, gender fluid and non-binary pupils states that “using correct terminology and language is crucial”.
Any staff member or pupil who accidentally uses the incorrect name or pronouns are expected to “apologise and take steps to ensure it is not repeated”.
The Government’s proposed new guidance states that in secondary schools, teachers can refuse requests by children to change their pronouns. Teachers and pupils will not face sanctions for not using a child’s preferred pronoun, unless they are found to have been bullying a trans student.
Parents should be ‘on the ball’
James Esses, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, a group of psychotherapists concerned about the impact of gender identity ideology on children, said: “Parents have to be on the ball here in terms of asking schools who they are receiving their training from and what the specific modules they are teaching.
“You cannot tell from outside of a school, no matter what its facilities are, or how expensive it is, whether they are pushing this ideology within their four walls.”
In a statement, Sevenoaks School said: “We welcome government guidance which is in line with our principles of supporting individual students whilst working in close partnership with parents.
“The underlying principle of this policy is to respect and protect all members of our school community. It is currently under review as part of our annual policy review cycle. Our policies are regularly reviewed to ensure they adhere to government requirements and best support our students and staff.”
Taunton and Bedales declined to comment.