One of the largest teachers and lecturers associations in Britain is calling for mandatory “gender diversity” training for most teachers and has warned of possible “legal issues” if school staff refer to people with incorrect gender pronouns.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) suggested providing the “gender diversity” training to sixth form colleges and further education teachers across the country, the BBC reported.
ATL Wales president Leslie Tipping claimed compulsory training on gender diversity is already overdue and pointed out that school staff are confused about different gender pronouns.
“Lecturers could be put in quite an embarrassing position if they address someone as a he who is a she or neither a he or a she,” she said, adding that staff “could end up with legal issues”.
The union boss said students who identify as transgender or having a non-binary gender identity had “entitlements” that need to be understood by school staff.
“We are keen for lecturer training to understand legalities and ensure they’re not embarrassed in any way. If we don’t ensure they’re trained we could end up with legal issues,” said Tipping.
The BBC has approached 14 further education colleges in Wales asking whether they provide “gender diversity” training to staff. They got three respondes.
All responsive colleges said there’s an increase in the number of students who identify as transgender, non-binary, or genderfluid.
Cardiff and Vale colleges are said to have received training that includes “protected characteristics” and provides “more detailed, bespoke training” for teachers whose classes have a large number of “gender diverse” students.
Coleg Cambria college, meanwhile, is giving all its front line staff training about gender identity led by members of the transgender community. The college also has gender neutral toilets.