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Mick Whitley, Member of Parliament for Birkenhead, has voiced his concerns at the announcement by the Girls Day School Trust (GDST) that they will not be accepting applications from Trans girls from now on.
Justifying this exclusionary policy, the GDST Chief Executive, Cheryl Giovannoni, cited the 2010 Equality Act stating, “Under current laws and guidance, the GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate could jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools under the act.”
The Birkenhead High School Academy is one of the schools where this ban will come into force, prompting Mick Whitley to comment, “Let me be frank: this is a deeply discriminatory policy that risks causing real and significant harm to the young trans and non-binary people who I represent, as well as to their loved ones.
“I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who hold positions of authority to lead by example by stating unequivocally that the identities of trans and non-binary people are valid and that the GDST are denying this in practice with their exclusionary policy.”
Mick has written to the GDST making his concerns known and calling on them to review their “Gender Identity Policy”, updated in December 2021. The monitoring group, The Trans Legal Project, has warned that this policy could be in breach of the law and called on the GDST to revert to current best practice where “guidance covering gender reassignment in other areas suggest a case-by-case approach should always be taken.”
Mick Whitley added, “the school website states that it is committed to ‘diversity, inclusion and real change’. By dropping its ban, the GDST can prove that it is prepared to match these laudable ideals in practice.”
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