A school in Birkenhead have said they are no longer accepting transgender female pupils.

Birkenhead High School Academy will follow an admissions policy based on students' “legal sex” rather than “gender identity” recorded on student’s birth certificates.

The Girls' Day School Trust, which runs multiple schools across England and Wales including Birkenhead High School Academy, said by accepting trans pupils they could “jeopardise” their status as a single-sex school.

CEO of Girls’ Day School Trust, Cheryl Giovannoni, said: “It is important to state first and foremost that the underlying principle of our policy is to offer a supportive educational environment to those students who are exploring their gender identity or in the process of transitioning.

“Our trans students are welcome in our schools and our policy primarily sets out ways in which schools can support them.

“A trans student already at our school can remain at the school for as long as they wish to do so.

“Young people exploring their gender identity need space and time to make decisions, free of pressure.

“The school has a responsibility to support a trans pupil and ensure measures are put in place to enable them to remain at their school.

“We will work together with them to make the best choices for their long-term wellbeing.”

The trust has also said that they were able to operate a single-sex admissions policy without breaching the Equality Act 2010 based on an exemption relating to biological sex.

Ms Giovannoni added: “Under current laws and guidance, the GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate could jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools under the act.

“We will continue to monitor the legal interpretation of this exemption.”

Mick Whitley, Member of Parliament for Birkenhead, voiced his concerns at the announcement.

He said: “Let me be frank: this is a deeply discriminatory policy that risks causing real and significant harm to the young trans and non-binary people who I represent, as well as to their loved ones.

“I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who hold positions of authority to lead by example by stating unequivocally that the identities of trans and non-binary people are valid and that the GDST are denying this in practice with their exclusionary policy.”

Mick has called on the trust to review their “Gender Identity Policy”, updated in December 2021.

The monitoring group, The Trans Legal Project, has warned that this policy could be in breach of the law and called on the GDST to revert to current best practice where “guidance covering gender reassignment in other areas suggest a case-by-case approach should always be taken.”

Mick Whitley added: “The school website states that it is committed to ‘diversity, inclusion and real change’.

“By dropping its ban, the GDST can prove that it is prepared to match these laudable ideals in practice.”

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