As you will be aware, education is a devolved matter for the Scottish Parliament.
The wellbeing and safety of children and young people in Scotland is a key priority for the SNP Scottish Government.
The SNP is clear that our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential.
The SNP Scottish Government published non-statutory guidance in August 2021 on supporting transgender young people in schools.
This non-statutory guidance sets out a range of advice on legislation, policy and practice to support all schools to deliver a safe, supportive learning environment, regardless of gender, and ensure that everyone’s rights are respected.
We know this guidance is needed. Research tells us Scotland’s transgender young people have poorer experiences at school than other pupils.
They experience significantly more bullying, are likely to have poorer mental health, and do not achieve similar educational outcomes as their peers.
The guidance provides practical measures for schools to ensure every single child’s rights are respected and links to, and draws upon, the guidance on the Equality Act which is already in place to support schools in fulfilling their duties.
This is an individual’s choice; it is not for schools to influence or determine a young person’s choice but to support them once it is established that a young person is considering their identity.
The guidance is clear that if a young person has not discussed these matters with their family, that school staff can support the young person about how to have that conversation, but should not take that decision for the young person.
The SNP believe that there is no place in Scotland for prejudice or discrimination, and that everyone deserves to be treated fairly.
The SNP remain strongly committed to advancing trans equality, in the context of our progressive approach to advancing LGBTI equality.
Trans people continue to suffer poorer outcomes and this needs to change. That is why the SNP Scottish Government are taking action to improve the lives of LGBTI people. This work includes:
Reform of the Gender Recognition Act.
Supporting NHS gender identity service improvement.
Taking forward the government’s commitment to end conversion practices.
A programme of action to promote equality and wellbeing for non-binary people, informed by the Non-Binary Working Group.
Continuing to develop a new Human Rights Bill, which will, as far as possible within devolved competence, include provision to ensure equal access for everyone to the substantive rights contained in the Bill, including LGBTI people.