Valuing All God’s Children (2017)

Guidance for Church of England schools to prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

This guidance was first published in 2014, with revisions in 2017 and 2019.

In late 2023, the Department for Education published draft guidance for teachers on how best to support pupils questioning their gender in schools. This includes requests from pupils for ‘social transition’ which can include requests to change pronouns, names, and uniform. The Government’s guidance seeks to address the challenges involved and offer clarity for schools, teachers and parents as they continue to act in the best interests of children. We welcome the publication of this draft guidance and will be responding to the consultation.

Consultation on draft Government Guidance for Schools and Colleges: Gender Questioning Children

Having welcomed the publication of this draft guidance, we have now responded to the Government consultation. Our response identifies a number of areas where the Government can add clarity, including around a robust requirement for pastoral support for individuals and families, and to ensure that the guidance is aligned to the findings of the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People led by Dr Hilary Cass.  Additionally, the legal assertions included need unpacking to give school leaders more confidence that their actions won't be contested if they follow the guidance.

Read the full consultation response from the Church of England Education Office.

Cass Report - April 2024

On 10th April Dr Hilary Cass published the final report and recommendations to NHS England in her role as Chair of the Independent Review of gender identity services for children and young people. As The Church of England Education Office said in our response to the DfE consultation, it is vital that their guidance (and also our own update to VAGC) reference and align with this thorough review. We particularly welcome the recognition that at the heart of every case, consideration should be given to the pastoral care and wellbeing of children and young people. We agree with Dr Cass's conclusions that, as far as any form of social transitioning is concerned, a very cautious approach is necessary, and should involve full collaboration and consultation with parents and medical professionals. Something we have always maintained.

In all of the complexity of these discussions it is vital that the dignity of every child as being made in the image of God is valued. Our document, Valuing all God’s Children, seeks to offer guidance about the prevention of bullying in these areas and we will be updating it in expectation of the Government’s guidance following this period of consultation.