In 2020 Safe Schools Alliance supported legal action against Oxfordshire County Council over their release and promotion of a ‘Trans Toolkit’ for use in schools around the county. This Toolkit claimed to provide guidance to schools on how to care for pupils identifying as transgender. However, it misrepresented the Equality Act 2010 in doing so. It also disregarded the privacy and dignity needs of other children, particularly girls. It contained serious safeguarding flaws with regard to its promotion of mixed-sex toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation. Alarmingly, it also failed to follow standard safeguarding procedure in its treatment of children identifying as transgender.
A teenage girl from Oxfordshire lodged a request to take the council to a judicial review for misrepresenting the law, and for failing to consider the needs of all children in developing this guidance. A High Court judge ruled that it was arguable that the guidance was indeed unlawful, and that the case could proceed to judicial review. At this point Oxfordshire County Council withdrew the guidance.
You can read our various updates on the progress of the case by clicking on the links below.
- *Oxfordshire guidance withdrawn for review*
- Application for Judicial Review of Oxfordshire’s Trans Guidance accepted
- Application for Judicial Review against Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) filed
- Proposed Legal Action against Oxfordshire County Council
You can view the media coverage of this case here: Media coverage of the legal action against OCC
Below you can read our summary of the main problems that were identified with Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Trans Toolkit’. This summary contains screenshots of some of the guidance.
You can also download the legal letter before action which was sent to Oxfordshire by the solicitors for ‘Girl A’; the teenage girl who initiated proceedings to take the council to a judicial review.
The legal letter before action which initiated proceedings to take Oxfordshire County Council to judicial review over their ‘Trans Toolkit’ for schools.