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  Human Resources and Organisational Development

Version 2: October 2010                            Not protectively marked
1st September 2009: Policy Implemented

June 2010: Styling revised in line with corporate guidelines

October 2010: Amendments made in line with the Equality Act 2010


If you have any questions regarding this policy please contact the Schools HR Adviser.

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   1       STATEMENT                                                                            4
   2       SCOPE                                                                                4
   3       DEFINITIONS                                                                          4

   1       INTRODUCTION                                              6
   2       PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW                                      7
   4       PENSIONS                                                  11
   5       CHANGING CONTACT DETAILS                                  11
   6       COMPLETION OF REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE                        11
   8       SUPPORTIVE APPROACH                                       12
   9       ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE                                       12

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 or Academy Status reference to the “Local
Authority” need to be replaced with “the Governing Body” Controlled.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

MODEL TRANSGENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY                                        Page 4 of 13
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 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.

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.

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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

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

1.2       Legal Basis

1.2.1     Discrimination
The Equality Act 2010 makes 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. Under the Equality Act a person has the protected
characteristic of gender reassignment if he or she is undergoing or has undergone a process or
part of a process for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or
other attributes of sex. The individual does not have to be subject to medical supervision to be
protected so it is sufficient if the individual decides to live as a member of the opposite sex but
does not undergo any medical procedures. However, this is subject to exceptions based on
'genuine occupational requirement' (see 2.2.3).

Harassment or bullying on grounds of transgender or gender reassignment is unlawful

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).

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 of the individual concerned).

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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.

2.1       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

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 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

MODEL TRANSGENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY                                          Page 7 of 13
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 Requirement
A Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) 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 GOR. In the event of the GOR rule applying, it must be stated on the
advertisement and job description. GORs are always open to challenge and the burden of proof
lies with the Governing Body to show that a GOR applies to the job. It is only an employment
tribunal who can give an authoritative ruling as to whether or not a GOR is valid. If Schools want
to apply a GOR to a post, they must consult with their HR Adviser in the first instance.

An employer is prevented from claiming that it is reasonable to treat a transgendered person as
being unsuitable for a Genuine Occupational Requirement or a supplementary Genuine
Occupational Requirement if that transgendered person's gender has become the acquired gender
under the Equality Act 2010.

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),

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     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.
     Whether the employee can remain in post (If the employee is currently in a post with a
      GOR 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.

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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.

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.

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

MODEL TRANSGENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY                                            Page 10 of 13
when calculating their entitlement to pension benefits. This could have implications for the
employee and they are advised to seek advice from the LA Pension’s department.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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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.

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

     Transsexualism and Gender Reassignment - Recommendations and
      Guidelines for Employers
     Transsexualism and Gender Reassignment - Recommendations and Guidelines for

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 – E-mail -
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
Website –

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

Website – E-mail –

9.4       Press for Change.
The UKs campaigning organisation for trans rights.

Website – Extensive information about medical, legal and
political issues.

MODEL TRANSGENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY                                          Page 12 of 13
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; email –

MODEL TRANSGENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY                                          Page 13 of 13

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