Attorney general says JK Rowling is brave and schools do not need to accomodate trans pupils

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Attorney General Suella Braverman during a regional cabinet meeting at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent (PA)
Attorney General Suella Braverman during a regional cabinet meeting at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent (PA)

The attorney-general has praised JK Rowling for being “brave” and declared schools in England do not need to accomodate pupils who want to change their gender.

Suella Braverman said legally schools do not have to use a new pronoun for children or let them wear school uniform of the gender they want to.

She said teachers should take a “much firmer line” on gender and schools can treat children by the gender they are born with because under-18s cannot legally change it.

“Under-18s cannot get a gender recognition certificate, under-18s cannot legally change sex. So again in the context of schools I think it’s even clearer,” she told The Times.

“A male child who says in a school that they are a trans girl, that they want to be female, is legally still a boy or a male. And schools have a right to treat them as such under the law. They don’t have to say OK, we’re going to let you change your pronoun or let you wear a skirt or call yourself a girl’s name.

“Equally if they say they’re nonbinary they still remain legally, and physically, the sex they were born to. The school doesn’t have to say, actually OK, we’ll take what this child says and we’ll change our systems and service to accommodate this child. It doesn’t have to do that.”

The attorney-general said girls’ toilets and changing rooms have legal protections so they remain “safe spaces” for women under the Equality Act.

Elsewhere in the interview, she told the newspaper that JK Rowling - who has campaigned to protect female-only spaces - is a “heroine” of hers and she said she is “on her side”.

She added of JK Rowling: “Very brave, very courageous. I’m on her side.”

People can apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate if they want to have their acquired gender to be legally recognised in the UK.

In order to do this, the person must be 18 or older and diagnosed with gender dysphoria - which is also known as gender identity disorder, gender incongruence or transsexualism.

The person must have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years and intend to live in their acquired gender for the rest of their life, according to the Gov website.

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