Girls’ Day School Trust will not accept transgender pupils

A petition has been launched after a school trust for 25 girls’ schools has said it will not accept transgender pupils.

The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which operates the local Northwood College for Girls, updated its gender identity policy in December to change admission rules.

It says admissions will be based on the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate rather than on gender identity, and the trust would not accept applicants who were legally born male but identify as trans.

But the trust did say it would “carefully consider” applications from legally born females who identify as trans or non-binary on a “case-by-case basis”.

The GDST said it is “committed to single-sex education for girls” and that accepting transgender pupils could “jeopardise” its single-sex status.

In the UK, trans men and women can only correct their legal sex on their birth certificate over the age of 18, meaning children and teenagers that identify as trans would not be able to change their legal sex in an attempt to attend schools at the trust.

The policy states: “GDST schools are able to operate a single-sex admissions policy, without breaching the Equality Act 2010 on the basis of an exemption relating to biological sex.

“The GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate would jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools under the act.

A stock image of a girls school Credit: PA

A stock image of a girls’ school Credit: PA

“For this reason, GDST schools do not accept applications from students who are legally male. We will, however, continue to monitor the legal interpretation of this exemption.”

Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of GDST, said that the policy intends to “offer a supportive educational environment to those students who are exploring their gender identity or in the process of transitioning” while adding that schools can operate on a single-sex policy.

She said: “Our trans students are welcome in our schools and our policy primarily sets out ways in which schools can support them.

“A trans student already at our school can remain at the school for as long as they wish to do so. Young people exploring their gender identity need space and time to make decisions, free of pressure.”

To sign the petition against the GDST policy, visit: https://www.change.org/p/girls-day-school-trust-let-transgender-girls-go-to-gdst-schools

Harrow Times | Local News