school policy transgender and gender reassignment by HC12041122279

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									Model




                       Model Transgender and Gender
                           Reassignment Policy




        Version 1
        Implementation Date – January 09


        This model policy has been written with maintained status in mind.
         If this model is to be adopted by schools with Trust, Foundation,
        Voluntary Aided Status reference to the “Local Authority” need to
                 be replaced with “the Governing Body” Controlled




        Plymouth                                 Human Resources Department
        City Council                                  Policies & Procedures




                           Page 1 of 14
                                               CONTENTS
SECTION A (Policy) ................................................................................................ 3
1.    Statement ..................................................................................................... 3
2.    Scope ........................................................................................................... 3
3     Definitions .................................................................................................... 3
SECTION B (Procedure) ......................................................................................... 6
1.    Introduction .................................................................................................. 6
1.1   Aims ............................................................................................................. 6
1.2   Legal Basis................................................................................................... 6
1.2.1 Discrimination............................................................................................... 6
1.3   What is gender reassignment?..................................................................... 7
2     Procedures to follow..................................................................................... 7
2.1   Recruitment process .................................................................................... 7
2.2   Security Checks and Occupational Health ................................................... 7
2.2.1 CRB disclosure ............................................................................................ 8
2.2.2 References ................................................................................................... 8
2.2.3 Genuine Occupational Qualification ............................................................. 8
3     Procedural Guidance for Gender Reassignment.......................................... 9
3.1   Advising Management .................................................................................. 9
3.3   Time off for treatment ................................................................................. 11
3.4   Single sex facilities ..................................................................................... 11
3.5   Records & confidentiality ............................................................................ 11
4     Pensions .................................................................................................... 11
5     Changing Contact Details .......................................................................... 12
6     Completion of Real Life Experience ........................................................... 12
7     Support to staff who work alongside transgendered colleagues ................ 12
8     Supportive Approach .................................................................................. 12
8.1   Managing Absence .................................................................................... 12
8.2   Long Term Sickness .................................................................................. 13
8.3   Confidentiality............................................................................................. 13
9      Additional Guidance .................................................................................. 13




                                                   Page 2 of 14
SECTION A (Policy)

1.    Statement
1.1   A transgender person is a person whose perception of their own gender
      differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

1.2   This policy provides recommended procedures to follow when working with
      transgender employees or an employee undergoing gender reassignment.
      This policy cannot be an exact reference as each case will be different. Any
      modifications to this procedure will be done so in collaboration with the
      employee and will ensure that the dignity of the transgender employee is
      maintained at all times.

1.3   This policy aims to ensure that all transgendered people are treated with the
      same respect and fairness as all other employees. All contact with
      transgendered people will be dealt with sensitively and respectfully.

1.4   The Governing Body is committed to providing a safe and healthy working
      environment for all its employees, where every employee is treated with
      respect and dignity and no employee feels threatened or intimidated for any
      reason.

2.    Scope
      This policy and procedure applies to all employees of the school.


3     Definitions

      The use of the wrong terminology can cause offence so it is important that the
      correct terms are used. It is difficult to give clear definitions that are
      universally agreed, however the LA have consulted with various organisations
      supporting transgendered people, who have advised that the definitions below
      are generally accepted.

      Trans
      The word trans is becoming the most common term used to cover both
      transsexual and transgendered people and the term can usually be used
      without causing offence. Transmen and women can live in their preferred
      gender without recourse to hormone treatment or surgery.

      Transmen
      Men who were born with female sex characteristics and assigned a female
      gender identity on their birth certificate; they have generally been brought up
      as women.

      Transwomen
      Women who were born with male sex characteristics and assigned a male
      gender identity on their birth certificate; they have generally been brought up
      as men.


                                    Page 3 of 14
Transsexual
The term was originally coined as a medical term for people undergoing
gender reassignment. This term is used by the Home Office and government
bodies as the legal description of a person whose perception of their own
gender (gender identity) differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Many trans men and women now find the term ‘transsexual’ on its own
offensive because it has become a pejorative term. If it has to be used then it
should be used as an adjective in order not to cause unnecessary offence.
E.g. ‘transsexual man’

Real Life experience
When a trans person decides to live fully in their preferred sex. They must do
so for two years to be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate.
Once the transitional period is completed no reference should be used to the
transition period or previous sex.

Transvestites or Cross-dressers
A person who dresses in the clothing of the opposite sex as defined by
socially accepted norms. Consequently, in contemporary society, the majority
of transvestites are cross-dressing men.

Transgender
Transgender is a broad term covering a wide range of people who are
questioning the gender they were assigned at birth. The term refers to trans
people including both those who wish to, and/or are able to undergo gender
reassignment, and those who do not. This is a more acceptable term to use
for Transvestites and cross-dressers.


Gender Recognition Certificate
The Gender Recognition Act gives transgendered people legal recognition as
members of the sex appropriate to their gender (male or female) allowing
them to acquire a new birth certificate, affording them full recognition of their
acquired sex in law for all purposes, including marriage.

All other major documents can be changed to reflect their new name and
preferred gender. These include driving licence; national insurance records;
employment records; national health records; exam certificates and
qualifications.

A Birth Certificate drawn from the Gender Recognition Register is
indistinguishable from any other birth certificate, and will indicate the new
legal sex and name. It can be used wherever a birth certificate is used. The
birth certificate showing the previous legal gender continues to exist, and will
carry no indication that there is an associated Gender Recognition Certificate
or alternative birth certificate (however it is not freely available to view).

A trans person does not have to have a Gender Recognition Certificate in
order to live in their preferred gender.




                               Page 4 of 14
Gender Identity
The psychological sense a person has of being male or female (or,
sometimes, neither). One’s gender identity usually coincides with one’s sex
but for transgendered people this is not the case.

Gender Dysphoria
The term dysphoria describes the strong sense of discomfort experienced
when one’s gender identity is inconsistent with the visible sex characteristics.
This appears to be an endocrinological condition where the foetus receives a
high dose of hormones that are inconsistent with the developing reproductive
organs. These hormones are thought to influence the brain’s understanding of
itself as male or female. Again, it is medical in origin and is used as a
diagnostic term to enable trans people to obtain medical and surgical help.




                              Page 5 of 14
SECTION B (Procedure)

1.     Introduction

1.1   Aims

      The specific aims of the procedure are to:

1.1.1 Ensure that all individuals, whether they wish to reassign (which is the medical
      treatment to alter a persons body to match their chosen identify) or continue to
      live in the gender role of their choice without undergoing treatment/surgery,
      are protected from discrimination.

1.1.2 Provide a framework for Governing Bodies/Headteacher’s to work to in
      respect of the issues       that must be considered and/or actions undertaken
      when staff or individuals within the recruitment process identify themselves as
      undergoing or wishing to undergo reassignment.

1.1.3 Detail the appropriate procedure to be followed when an employee advises
      their Governing Body/Headteacher that they are a transgendered person and
      plan to change their identity. This may or may not include undergoing
      reassignment.

1.1.4 Provide guidance to staff who work alongside transgendered people.

1.1.5 Enable Governing Bodies/Headteacher’s and HR Advisers to adopt a
      supportive and understanding approach including how to deal with the more
      practical issues associated with changing one’s perceived gender and how to
      deal with potentially difficult or sensitive issues.

1.2   Legal Basis
1.2.1 Discrimination

      The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 make it
      unlawful to discriminate against a person in relation to employment and
      vocational training on the grounds that they intend to undergo, are undergoing
      or have undergone gender reassignment. The definition of gender
      reassignment in the Sex Discrimination Act includes any part of a process
      undertaken under medical supervision for the purpose of reassigning a
      person's sex by changing physiological or other characteristics of sex.

      A person who has been recognised in the acquired gender under the Gender
      Recognition Act will therefore be considered to be undergoing or to have
      undergone gender reassignment, and accordingly, discrimination against him
      or her on this ground will be unlawful. However, this is subject to exceptions
      based on 'genuine occupational qualifications' (see 2.2.3).

      When a person has been recognised in the acquired gender, they are, for the
      purposes of employment, to be treated as being of their acquired gender (that
      is, of the opposite sex to their birth sex).


                                     Page 6 of 14
      Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 makes it an offence for an
      individual who has acquired ‘protected information’ (i.e. information relating to
      a person who has made an application under the act) to disclose this to any
      other person (without consent).


1.3   What is gender reassignment?

      This term is used to describe the medical process whereby a person changes
      their gender. The initial stage consists of counselling and assessment, and a
      diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’. This can then be followed by medication
      (hormone therapy) designed to affect the body. Typically after about 6
      months, the physical appearance of the individual will have changed
      noticeably. If an individual has not yet changed social gender and started a
      period of living in the gender role they desire, they will start to do so around
      this stage, although they might choose to retain their usual gender at work for
      a further period.

      During the earlier part of the medical process it is possible that the individual
      displays characteristics of both genders. The final stage for some individuals
      is to undergo surgery, which usually takes place within one or two years of
      hormone therapy. Not all people going through gender reassignment undergo
      surgery as this is a matter of personal choice.

2     Procedures to follow

2.1   Recruitment process

      It is not expected that applicants and interviewees for employment disclose
      their trans status. It is therefore not a question that will be asked at interview
      as it is not relevant to the selection criteria.

      It is an interview panel’s responsibility to check the qualifications which are
      required to undertake the job. Unless the person applying for the job has
      obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate and had the names on their
      qualifications changed, it may be necessary to disclose their previous name to
      the interview panel when providing documentary evidence of their
      qualifications.

      If the HR Department or interview panel are informed of an individual’s trans
      status, they will not unnecessarily disclose this to anyone as it is not relevant
      information for selection to a post. Unnecessary disclosure of this information
      to other employees will be dealt with in the same way as any other
      confidential personal disclosure, and may ultimately result in disciplinary
      action.

2.2   Security Checks and Occupational Health

      The documents and forms used for security checks and medical screening
      will seek information that may lead to the identification of trans status. This
      information will remain confidential and the disclosure of this information will


                                      Page 7 of 14
     be restricted to those employees involved in security, vetting and medical
     procedures. Any subsequent paperwork that indicates the individual’s trans
     status will not be accessible to other employees.

2.2.1 CRB disclosure

     If a transexual employee is appointed to a post which requires CRB clearance
     and does not wish to reveal details of their previous identity to the person who
     asked them to complete a CRB disclosure application form, they should
     contact the CRB, Liverpool, on 0151 676 1452 to discuss the Confidential
     Checking Process for Transgender Applicants. Alternatively the prospective
     employee can contact the Plymouth City Council HR CRB Manager on
     (01752) 305463 where the application will be treated in the strictest
     confidence.

2.2.2 References

      It may become necessary for transgender applicants to disclose their
      previous name/gender in order for references to be sought from past
      employers who knew them in their past identity. The Governing
      Body/Headteacher will deal with all reference requests in a sensitive manner
      and will not knowingly breach any confidence.

      For situations whereby an applicant has applied for a position in their
      acquired gender, they have the following options when providing referees:

            Where a school does not know about a trans employee’s previous
             identity and the employee does not wish to disclose this, it would be
             advisable for the trans employee to contact their named referee(s) to
             inform them that they will be receiving a reference request, but this will
             be in a different name to the one in which they know them as. This will
             remove any unnecessary delay in the reference being sent due to
             previous employer’s not being able to identify the person as a past
             employee.

            Where a trans applicant is prepared to disclose their situation they will
             need to provide their previous name/gender and request that the
             reference request be sent using this identity. This will prevent the need
             to disclose information to their past employer (in cases where gender
             transition has taken place after leaving previous employment).

2.2.3 Genuine Occupational Qualification

      A Genuine Occupational Qualification (GOQ) can only be claimed where it is
      necessary for the relevant duties to be carried out by someone of a particular
      sex, religion or belief. (Not merely because it is preferable).

      For example: A requirement for a male care assistant as the job involves
      helping men dress or use the toilet.

      It is lawful to discriminate in recruitment, training, promotion and transfer in a
      job for which the sex of a worker is a GOQ. In the event of the GOQ rule


                                     Page 8 of 14
      applying, it must be stated on the advertisement and job description. GOQs
      are always open to challenge and the burden of proof lies with the Governing
      Body to show that a GOQ applies to the job. It is only an employment
      tribunal who can give an authoritative ruling as to whether or not a GOQ is
      valid. If Schools want to apply a GOQ to a post, they must consult with their
      HR Adviser in the first instance.

      Since 4 April 2005, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, ss.7A(4) & 7B(3) (as
      inserted and amended respectively by the Gender Recognition Act (GRA)
      2004, Sch.6) prevents an employer from claiming that it is reasonable to treat
      a transgendered person as being unsuitable for a Genuine Occupational
      Qualification or a supplementary Genuine Occupational Qualification if that
      transgendered person's gender has become the acquired gender under the
      Gender Recognition Act 2004.

3     Procedural Guidance for Gender Reassignment

3.1   Advising the Governing Body/Headteacher

      When an employee decides to undergo gender reassignment they will need
      to formally notify their Headteacher/Governing Body. Before contacting
      them, an employee may prefer to initially discuss their plans with a trusted
      person who could be a colleague, their School Human Resources Adviser,
      Trade Union Representative or a member of the Local Authorities Social
      Inclusion Unit.

      The employee will need to consider the following:

            The timescales they are planning to begin their real life experience
             (which is the time they change their appearance to their new gender),
            What their new name will be,
            Whether anyone else is aware of their situation (to ensure
             confidentiality isn’t breached) and who they would be happy to talk to
             about the situation.

      When they are ready, the employee must formally notify their
      Headteacher/Governing Body. They may wish to invite their trusted
      colleague to go to that meeting to offer support.

      When the school has been formally notified, an action plan will be agreed to
      manage the transition. It may take a number of meetings to discuss and
      agree a suitable procedure. The employee can be supported at these
      meetings and the School HR Adviser should also attend.

      The meeting should establish:

            Who the employee’s main point of contact will be to discuss any
             issues.
            The boundaries of confidentiality.
            The timetable of events.




                                   Page 9 of 14
         Whether the employee can remain in post (If the employee is currently
          in a post with a GOQ they may have to consider their future
          employment within the school.
         There is no obligation to advise colleagues, however if the employee
          continues to work in the same environment then colleagues will need
          to be officially advised of the situation. How and when this is done will
          be agreed between the employee and their Headteacher/Governing
          Body.
         Agree who will officially inform other people who need to know of the
          situation.
         Whether the employee wishes to be present when colleagues are
          informed.
         HR will offer support on the type of information that would be
          beneficial to be shared. Also to stress the legal obligation not to
          disclose information.
         Who will take responsibility for processing necessary paperwork.
         Ordering uniforms (where relevant)
         Arrangements for known sickness leave for medical/surgical
          appointments (where relevant).
         When to start using a new name (if relevant).
         Where possible, confirmation of when to start using the toilets which
          are appropriate to their new gender.
         Arrangements to attend occupational health to ensure that medical
          issues are monitored and counselling support is offered.

At every point in the process the member of staff should be consulted and an
action plan agreed with the individual.

3.2       Real Life Experience

It is a medical requirement for a person undergoing gender reassignment to
fully live, work and socialise in their preferred gender before any surgical
procedures can take place. This is called the Real Life Experience. This is
said to serve two purposes: firstly in order for the gender consultant to screen
out any major factors that that may overturn the diagnosis of gender
dysphoria; and secondly in order for the individual to see whether they are
comfortable and able to live socially in their preferred gender.

The Real Life Experience can itself be a traumatic time for the transperson as
they have to live with their identifying characteristics that are at odds with their
psychological gender. E.g. transmen have to live socially as men with breasts;
transwomen have to live socially as women with prominent male features:
deep voice; noticeable beard shadow; penile bulge etc. This is an ethical
problem for the medical profession but the reality of this difficult time for the
transperson can be considerably eased by a sympathetic employer/line
manager and colleagues.

During the Real Life Experience, it is possible to have driving licence and
passports altered to show the gender that a person is living in with supporting
letters from medical supervisors.



                                Page 10 of 14
3.3   Time off for treatment

      There is no standard length of time for treatment, as it varies with individual
      needs, but could take many months. Consideration needs to be given to how
      this will be dealt with. Trans people will also need to take time to attend a
      Gender Identity Clinic up to and beyond surgery and may need other
      treatments. The Schools Managing Attendance Policy and Procedure will
      apply when managing absences for treatment.

3.4   Single sex facilities

      It should be agreed with the individual concerned at which point the use of
      facilities such as changing rooms and toilets should change from one sex to
      the other. This may be at the point at which the person begins to live
      permanently in the gender with which they identify.

      It is not acceptable to insist that trans employees use separate facilities such
      as the disabled toilet. Trans employees should be granted access to single
      sex facilities according to the gender with which they identify.

      It is important that any arrangements agreed are satisfactory to both the
      individual and, where possible, colleagues.

3.5   Records & confidentiality

      The Gender Recognition Act gives anyone applying for or holding a Gender
      Recognition Certificate particular privacy rights. It is a criminal offence to
      pass on information acquired ‘in the course of official duties’ about someone’s
      gender recognition without the consent of the individual affected. ‘Official
      duties’ include employment, trade union representation or supply of business
      or professional services.

      The point at which the individual’s new gender is formally established, often
      but not always, marks the start of the real life experience. Employer records,
      security passes, telephone directories etc will be altered accordingly. The
      right of the individual to maintain confidentiality of their previous identity will
      be secured and access to past records that may reveal previous gender
      identity will be strictly controlled.

      It will be necessary to amend personnel records, such as personal file,
      pension records, payroll records, as well as any other information held on the
      schools databases or spreadsheets. The Headteacher/Governing Body will
      therefore need to agree with the employee who needs to be informed to
      enable these changes to be made. New files will be created where
      necessary with key information being transferred to ensure that ‘third parties’
      are not able to become aware of the employees previous identity.

4     Pensions

      As from 4 April 2005, should an employee apply for a Gender Recognition
      Certificate and legally change their gender on their birth certificate, the
      pension scheme will recognise their new gender when calculating their

                                     Page 11 of 14
      entitlement to pension benefits. This could have implications for the
      employee and they are advised to seek advice from the LA Pension’s
      department.

5     Changing Contact Details

      It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that, once the individual’s new
      gender is formally established, security passes, telephone directories etc are
      altered accordingly; reflecting the new name and gender of choice.

6     Completion of Real Life Experience

      Once the Gender Recognition Certificate has been obtained or, the
      transperson has lived in the acquired gender for two years, all electronic
      records will reflect the new gender from the date of appointment. Surgery is
      not required to obtain the GRC. Any paperwork that cannot be destroyed
      should continue to be kept in a sealed confidential file. Paperwork should be
      vetted with regard to the new name to ensure all records are accurate. In
      order that this process is done in a timely fashion, it is up to the employee to
      advise their school that the 2 years has been completed.

      A record reflecting the change will be kept that is only available to the
      Governing Body/Headteacher, and HR. This is to ensure personal record
      changes are explained.

7     Support to staff who work alongside transgendered colleagues

      If the situation is handled sensitively, people are kept informed and everyone
      adheres to their rights and responsibilities then problems should not be
      encountered. It is important that employees are informed that harassment of a
      trans person is unlawful and covered by the schools Bullying and Harassment
      Policy and if evidence is found, will lead to disciplinary action.

      Some employees may have difficulty in coming to terms with the situation for a
      number of reasons. Support mechanisms will be put in place to help
      employees deal with these difficulties and to avoid possible problems between
      staff.

      Appropriate training and guidance can be provided in these cases. The Local
      Authorities Social Inclusion Unit will also be able to provide advice and
      guidance to any school who would like their support.

8     Supportive Approach

8.1   Managing Absence

      Trans employees undergoing medical and surgical procedures related to
      gender reassignment may require some time off work. There is no specific
      minimum or maximum time related to the process of gender reassignment.
      The school will show flexibility during this time in the same way as someone
      undergoing any other serious operation.


                                    Page 12 of 14
8.2   Long Term Sickness

      As with all major treatment, there is always the possibility that complications
      arising as a result of the treatment could result in a prolonged incapacity for
      work. In this situation the employee will be monitored by the Occupational
      Health Unit and their Headteacher. If incapacity continues beyond normal
      expectations for the process undergone, the situation will be managed under
      the schools Managing Attendance Policy.

8.3   Confidentiality

      Any deliberate and inappropriate release of confidential information leading to
      a trans employee or recruit being ‘outed’ against their stated wish, whether
      internally or externally, will be treated as a serious matter and could be
      subject to disciplinary action.

9     Additional Guidance

      To ensure the success of the Gender Reassignment process it is important
      that everyone is aware of the schools responsibilities to the person
      transitioning and to his or her colleagues. Equally the person transitioning has
      responsibilities to the school and to his or her colleagues. This policy has
      been written to ensure that the School acts professionally and sensitively to
      maintain the dignity of those involved in the process.

      The Headteacher/Governing Body will also seek advice from outside
      agencies when required. Further information can also be found in the
      following publications available from The Gender Trust;

               Transsexualism and Gender Reassignment - Recommendations and
                Guidelines for Employers
               Transsexualism and Gender Reassignment - Recommendations and
                Guidelines for Employees.

      The above two publications are available from the LA Social Inclusion Unit.

      The list below details the main organisations supporting transgendered
      people who can provide advice and information to families and friends,
      statutory bodies, industry and commerce.

      9.1       The Gender Trust.

      The only registered charity in the U.K., which specifically helps adults who
      are Transsexual, Gender Dysphoric or Transgenderist.
      PO Box 3192, Brighton, BN1 3WR.
      Web site – www.gendertrust.org.uk E-mail - info@gendertrust.org.uk
      GT Information line – 07000 790347 Administration Office. – 01273 234024

      9.2       FTM Network.

      Information and support for female to male transsexual people.
      Write to – BM Network, London WC1N 3XX

                                    Page 13 of 14
Website – www.ftm.org.uk

9.3    GIRES – Gender Identity Research and Education Society.

Promotes and communicates research, and provides information to those
who can improve the lives of people affected by gender identity and intersex
condition.
Website – www.gires.org.uk E-mail – admin@gires.org.uk

9.4    Press for Change.

The UKs campaigning organisation for trans rights.
Website – www.pfc.org.uk Extensive information about medical, legal and
political issues.

9.5   Western Boys
Local to the South West, Western Boys offer guidance and support for all
female to male (FTM) identified people. The group is for those at any stage of
transition from those still considering their gender identity to people who have
completed their transition.
Tel. 07811 814302 – confidential contact and help line
Website www.westernboys.org; email – info@westernboys.org




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