13 May 2016

School Revision: Trans Inclusion in Education

What would school life look like if it was inclusive of young trans people? How can school subjects be representative of trans people*? What would an inclusive educational space look like? 

School Revision is all about starting to imagine what school life for young, trans people could look like in the future. Organised in collaboration with grassroots voluntary organisation Wipe Out Transphobia, not-for-profit community interest company Gendered Intelligence, former teacher now campaigner Juno Roche and non-profit project All About Trans, the day-long event will be held in a primary school and planned around the daily life of gender variant school pupils.

Beginning with a Morning Assembly, participants can choose from 9 tailored lessons, taught by qualified teachers and speakers, forming a curriculum and school environment we imagine is inclusive of diverse gender identities. Lessons that explore gender, language and trans lives, will be taught in order that teachers and head teachers can take practical tips back to their classrooms and schools. During the day, we will look at how we can use the curriculum to challenge gender stereotypes and develop a better understanding of trans experiences and challenges.

Heading to school

Why are we organising this event?

In 2016, Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee’s (WEC) Trans Equality Report (2016), saying she was making sure schools were abiding by their responsibilities under the Equality Act. Therefore, she was looking at teacher training, reviewing the curriculum and helping “teachers to be more confident and to support pupils…” who are trans or gender variant.

Research provided to the Trans Equality Report, from the Equality Human Rights Commission, indicates that 91% of trans boys and 66% of trans girls experience harassment or bullying at school, leading to depression, isolation and a desire to leave education as early as possible. Unless supported, around 40% of young trans people disconnect from education as it becomes an activity that they want to get away from (based on research conducted by LGBT charity Stonewall). Their experience is not aspirational and often they feel unsupported by the structures which should support them to succeed. The majority of schools in the UK are not currently equipped with the skills or awareness of trans issues to adequately support them.

This event fits into the national strategy changes recommended by the WEC report and will create a space where young trans people can feel aspirational, positive and supported fully. Most importantly, it will provide educators with the practical information and confidence needed to make their schools more inclusive of gender variant pupils.

Tailored lessons and workshopsThe school day

After Morning Assembly, participants will attend their selected lessons, held in classrooms and the school hall. Each hour-long lesson will involve participatory activities, focused on imagining how educators and pupils might experience lessons if they were more inclusive of diverse gender identities (e.g. trans, non-binary, gender fluid, gender questioning). Led by teachers and speakers, lessons include: Literature and storytellingP.E.DramaDesign and TechnologyMedia StudiesBiology, and workshops on supporting schools with resources and practical advice. Visit the schedule on the event website for more information.

At the end of the day a short school play will be produced by young participants and we’ll see a presentation of findings from the day followed by a Q+A session. Findings will have been collected during the day by volunteer scribes and will address how school environments can change and be more inclusive of trans and non-binary people. After the event these findings, or ‘homework’, will form a report to be distributed online and amongst senior figures in the education sector, to feed into and continue to support campaigns to improve trans inclusion in education.

Lark Hall Primary school

Getting involved

The event is free (with an option to donate) for young trans* people, parents/carers, teachers, educators, or anyone who works in the education sector, local authorities and the media. Lunch (with vegetarian options) and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Places are limited in the school so please register your interest and tell us which lessons you’re keen to participate in. 

Please note that our system is not based on first come first serve – registering your interest through the above form helps us to monitor available places and create an environment with a diverse mix of people interested in trans inclusion in education. If you have already expressed an interest in specific lessons this gives you a chance to tell us more about your choices. This does not guarantee you a place in your preferred lesson, but helps us to ensure each lesson has a range of people from diverse backgrounds with varying expertise.

For more information, email team@schoolrevision.org.uk, call 0207 0650 771 or check out the School Revision website. Spread the word on Twitter using: #TransPupilsMatter/#TransSchool.

* ‘Trans people’ is used to mean the broad spectrum of people who feel they are gender variant in some way, including but not limited to transsexual, transgender, non-binary and gender queer people.

All About Trans