The aim of this Government's education policy is to achieve excellence and equity for all our young people in a high-performing education system. To achieve this we must ensure every child and young person is happy, safe, respected and included in their learning environment. By doing so, we are creating the right environment for everyone to participate fully in their education and achieve their potential.
The provision of a safe, respectful and inclusive learning environment for all pupils is paramount and it is therefore vital that our schools have the confidence to meet the needs of all pupils, including transgender pupils, within the school. In June 2019, we announced our intention to produce guidance in this area.
This guidance reflects the Equality Act 2010 duties on education providers with advice, based upon the Getting it Right for Every Child approach, on the practical application of those duties in a school setting. I am confident this guidance does so in a way that will help schools meet the needs of all of their pupils including girls and transgender pupils.
While the primary focus of this guidance is to help schools support transgender pupils, the guidance also recognises the particular importance of privacy and the provision of safe spaces for girls and boys within schools. This is a critical theme that is recognised and addressed throughout this guidance.
The Government is also taking forward a range of other actions to address the issue of gender equality within education. Programme for Government commits us to developing national guidance for schools that will set out the range of support and practical prevention and intervention measures available to address the issues of gender-based violence and harmful sexual behaviour in schools.
Additionally, the recommendations of the First Minister's Advisory Group on Women and Girls commits us to establishing a national taskforce on gender equality in education and learning. These actions complement the aims of our cross-cutting Equally Safe Strategy and our broad commitment to eradicate gender-based violence in every part of our society. I am determined that the education system continues to be a key contributor to this work.
The health and wellbeing of every child and young person must be at the heart of our decision making. I am confident that this guidance, combined with our forthcoming work on gender equality, will help schools deliver a learning environment where privacy, safety, dignity and respect is afforded to every pupil so they can each achieve their full potential.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills