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When Should Children Know They Can Switch Genders in Schools?

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Young school children in a classroom
Kids in classroom | Taylor Flowe/Unsplash

Understanding Gender Changes in Schools: When Should Children Know They Can Switch Genders in School

Police minister Chris Philp has raised concerns about the content of sex education classes for his kids. He emphasized the importance of protecting them from inappropriate material and controversial topics such as transgender issues.

Philp mentioned that updated guidance on sex education is on the way and he anticipates rapid changes to be put into effect.

In simpler terms, Philp emphasized that he wants to shield his children from potentially unsuitable content and debated subjects like transgender issues. He believes that childhood is a precious time and certain concepts should be introduced at a later stage.

He expressed confidence that changes to sex education, particularly regarding transgender matters, will be well-received by many parents, including himself. He is hopeful that the Education Secretary will swiftly implement these adjustments.

According to reports, age restrictions are likely to be introduced regarding when children can receive sex education.

The Times newspaper suggests that schools will be instructed to hold off on teaching any aspect of sex education until students reach year 5, around the age of nine.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is anticipated to reveal additional actions. These actions will involve preventing conversations about gender identity changes and refraining from discussing explicit topics about sex until children are 13 years old.

Additionally, these measures seek to offer direction and limits on the timing and manner in which specific subjects, like gender changes, are discussed in schools.

Child writing on paper in a classroom

Photo | Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Additionally, children won't receive lessons about contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and abortion until they reach this age milestone. This approach is part of the Government's response to concerns that some kids are being exposed to inappropriate topics in relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE).

To address these worries, schools will now be required to share samples of the educational material with parents. This move aims to reassure parents and provide them with insight into what their children will be learning, particularly regarding sensitive topics like gender changes.

Starting from September 2020, relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) became compulsory in all schools across England. This means that schools are now required to include RSHE in their curriculum.


Also read: Unisex Names for Kids: New Parents Quickly Adopting New Trend


The current guidelines outline different modules for RSHE lessons. For primary school-aged children, the focus is on understanding various family structures and promoting healthy relationships among peers.

In contrast, secondary school-aged students delve into more intricate topics within RSHE. These include discussions about puberty, sexual relationships, consent, recognizing unsafe relationships, and understanding online risks and harms.

After hearing worries from various sources, including Conservative MPs, about children being taught sex education too early, the Prime Minister ordered a review of the curriculum. This review aims to address concerns and possibly make changes to when and how sex education is taught in schools.

The Department of Education responded to inquiries about the reports but didn't confirm their accuracy.

They emphasized that they wouldn't speculate on information leaks and indicated that any official announcements regarding changes to the curriculum would be made at the appropriate time.

The government might make rules about when kids learn these things. This is all to ensure that kids learn sensitive stuff when they're ready. But we'll have to wait for official word on these changes.