Scottish primary schools appoint children as ‘LGBT champions’

Teacher holds LGBT flag
Teacher holds LGBT flag

Scottish primary schools are appointing children as “LGBT champions” and are being urged to ask pupils as young as four if they are gay, lesbian or trans, The Telegraph can reveal.

Documents show that schools are setting up LGBT clubs and “gender and sexual orientation alliance groups” for pupils as part of their membership of a scheme run by the charity LGBT Youth Scotland.

The charity, which received nearly £1 million of taxpayers’ money last year, also urges head teachers to install gender neutral lavatories and mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, an event critics say is designed to reinforce myths spread by trans activists.

It comes after the Cass Review into NHS gender identity services last week raised fears that found the evidence for allowing children to change gender was built on weak foundations.

Dr Hillary Cass, a paediatrician, said allowing “social transitioning” for young people – when they are treated as the opposite gender – could “change their trajectory” and lead to them pursuing a potentially damaging medical pathway in later life.

The SNP Government was urged to address concerns over the promotion of ideology in classrooms in the wake of the revelations and the Cass Review.

It also follows a major row about the introduction of new hate crimes law in Scotland which introduced new legal protections for trans people.

Miriam Cates, co-chairman of the New Conservatives group of MPs, said: “We have seen from the Cass Review the appalling results of using children as pawns in adult political battles. Indoctrinating small children with sexualised ideologies is deeply unethical and breaks all established safeguarding principles.”

Sir John Hayes, chairman of the Tory Common Sense Group, said: “Those responsible for the outrage of approaching four year olds in this way should be rounded up and charged with child abuse”

Carolyn Brown, an educational psychologist, said: “Children of primary school age are very suggestible and are still at a very early stage of their psychological and emotional development.

“What we are seeing here is the product placement of gender ideology in schools which is potentially very harmful.

“Kids in primary school cannot possibly know if they are LGBT because biologically, psychologically and emotionally they will not yet have the capacity.”

LGBT Youth Scotland in 2022-23 received almost £450,000 in taxpayer funding from the SNP Government and a further £340,000 from local authorities. NHS organisations handed over a further £154,000.

It claims that more than 200 Scottish secondaries, more than half of the national total, and over 40 primary schools, have joined its LGBT charter for education. The fees it charges to join range from £850 to £2,000.

It claims the programme enables schools, colleges and universities to “proactively include LGBTQ+ people in every aspect of [their] work”.

As part of membership, staff must be trained by the organisation, which provides an online guide and letter templates for children wishing to change their gender at school.

Each school joining the scheme is told it must appoint at least two pupils and two staff members as “LGBT Champions” and those hoping to obtain “gold” status are told to consider a survey of pupils to ask them if they are “part of the LGBT community in order to discern whether bullying affects those pupils proportionally within the school”.

Documents given to schools in the scheme say the champions should hold quarterly meetings to drive forward LGBT inclusion.

One primary school tweeted about its group of champions with a picture of five young children.

Among 10 annual events that Scottish schools are being urged to “celebrate” are “National Coming Out Day” and “Transgender Day of Visibility”.

Schools hoping to obtain a gold award are also told to provide evidence of their “LGBT safe spaces” such as gender neutral lavatories and PE classes.

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former business secretary, said: “I do not understand why these organisations want to brainwash children with peculiar ideas. Primary school children should be allowed to live in the innocence of childhood. They will learn soon enough from their contemporaries and parents, who have the principal role.”

LGBT Youth Scotland states that it has trained more than 5,000 teachers since 2021 and that its scheme means it is “reaching a minimum of 30,000 young people” and successfully changing the “culture and ethos” of Scottish schools.

To achieve its gold award, schools are told they must “undertake at least one activity which specifically addresses the needs of transgender young people” such as “conducting a campaign that addresses trans rights”.

They are also told they must put up the organisation’s posters and rewrite school policies in areas such as transgender inclusion and school uniform to ensure they are “inclusive”.

Ash Regan, a former SNP minister who quit the government to vote against Nicola Sturgeon’s gender self-ID law and is now an Alba Party MSP, said: “Reports I’ve received on the promotion of gender ideology in Scottish primary, high schools and even nursery schools present a grave concern, especially in light of the Cass review recommendations.

“We need governments to engage in a comprehensive debate on the Cass review in parliament urgently.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We are committed to doing everything we can to make Scotland the best place to grow up for LGBTQI+ young people. This includes funding LGBT Youth Scotland to deliver a range of projects, such as the LGBT Charter programme.”

LGBT Youth Scotland has been approached for comment.