Essex school changes transgender toilet policy

Essex school changes transgender toilet policy

  • 19 March 2018

A school has changed its policy after a transgender pupil revealed she was not allowed to use the girls toilets.

A student at King Edmund School in Rochford, Essex told transgender support group Transpire that a teacher said she could not use the toilets “out of respect”.

Transpire said schools need to make sure no pupils are made to feel alone.

Headteacher Jonathan Osborn said pupils will now be able to use a toilet which “matches their identified gender”.

Founder of Transpire, Gina Denham, said it was about “raising awareness” and making sure the pupil “could have that sense of belonging”.

She added that while some schools are “really inclusive,” others were not.

“One of our members was told at a school locally not to even talk about trans stuff,” she said.

‘Positive outcome’

“I find it quite amazing some schools are branding it respect when in fact it is segregation.

“We did have a positive outcome with this school though.

“It’s about giving people the opportunity to use the toilet they are comfortable with, not what the school is comfortable with.”

Mr Osborn said King Edmund School believes ‘everyone has the right to feel comfortable’ in order to “achieve the very best they can”.

He said the school always discusses “individual needs with each of the small number of transgender students it has” and has sought to put in place agreed toilet provision.

He added that “because of what the school stands for and the rights written into equality law, the school made the decision to allow transgender students to use a toilet that matches their identified gender”.