In an article exploring guidance for teachers to support transgender and non-binary students, Stone King Partner Michael Brotherton offers the legal perspective.
The article published by Tes is in response to a YouGov poll in which teachers report a rise in the number of transgender and non-binary students and call for more government guidance on how to support them.
Education lawyer Michael Brotherton says the impact of new guidance would be limited without legal clarity.
He told Tes:
"The guidance can only go so far because it can only go as far as what the law says. In law, it is clear - you cannot directly discriminate. However, if the discrimination is 'indirect' then if you can argue your actions are proportionate, then it is justified."
In the article he gives an example of how complex the issue of toilets in schools can be and doubts whether one-size-fits-all guidance would help.
"It will never reach a tick-box policy. The law is filled with grey areas and interpretation - and the Equality Act and indirect discrimination is one of those 'it depends' areas".
However, Michael suggests that it may
“make sense to review the guidance there is, and consider what can we do to strengthen it to assist schools (and therefore students) in creating their policies and making their decisions."
To read the full article, please go to tes.com/teachers want more guidance on trans support survey finds.