Majority of teachers have trans pupils and are ‘crying out’ for help to support them, UK study finds
The majority of teachers have a trans pupil in their class, with many saying they would like more help with how to support them, a new study has found.
Research by LGBT+ young people’s charity Just Like Us found that 55 per cent of teachers in England have at least one pupil who has come out as transgender, and 78 per cent say they would like more resources supporting them.
The study, which surveyed 6,394 teachers across England, also said that 87 per cent of secondary school teachers have had at least one trans student.
“Trans young people across the country are in schools with teachers who are crying out for the right resources to support them,” said Dominic Arnall, chief executive of Just Like Us.
Arnall added that a “small but vocal” anti-trans population can make it tough for students to grow up as trans, and that teachers with positive resources can make all the difference.
He added: “While we understand some might feel nervous about this there is really no reason to be.
“You don’t need to be an expert in gender to support trans young people.
“With a small but vocal minority of anti-trans individuals, it’s often a tough and terrifying time for young people growing up trans, so it’s very encouraging to see that the majority of their teachers want to support their pupils to be themselves and feel safe while learning, and we will do everything we can to help them with that journey.”
Isaac, a 22-year-old ambassador for Just Like Us, said: “I’m a transgender man who went to a girl’s school.
“I think the main obstacle to providing that support for trans young people is hesitance, for fear of getting it wrong. But I feel so much better when I know that a teacher is trying, even if they get it wrong sometimes, than if they don’t want to try at all.
“It sets an example for the young peers of trans pupils as future allies.”
Despite this positive study, there is a long way to go for trans equality in UK schools, with the recent news that a leading group of girls’ schools has updated its admissions policy to exclude trans girls from being admitted as students.
The ban by Girls Day School Trust, a group of 25 independent schools in England and Wales, was implemented because, the group claims, to let trans girls become pupils would jeopardise the schools’ status as single-sex.
A spokesperson for the Trans Legal Project said: “Our strong view is that admitting a trans girl does not jeopardise the single-sex status of a girl’s school and the GDST is wrong about this.”