Supporting Transgender Young People

Today, LGBT Youth Scotland is pleased to announce the release of "Supporting Transgender Young People", our comprehensive and easy-to-follow guidance for Scottish schools and teachers.

Developed in partnership with the Scottish Trans Alliance, this resource aims to help primary and secondary education staff support transgender children and young people and is informed by the experiences of young people and teachers.

It has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit and following rigorous consultation, 31 organisations and 16 local authorities (see notes) have endorsed this publication, including the Children’s and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland and key organisations working with children and young people.

More young people feel confident to ‘come out’ to their friends and families as transgender at a younger age. This is a positive step forward as it allows them to discuss their feelings and access support when it’s most needed. It does, however, have clear implications for school environments, with teachers telling us that they often lack knowledge and confidence in this area.

This guidance will support teachers to ensure that all transgender and non-binary children and young people are safe, supported and included in their schools.

“I have been struck personally by the extent to which transgender young people have to be their own advocates growing up and coming out as trans at school… That's why we've developed this guidance; we want to assist in creating a positive school ethos, where all young people, including trans young people, can benefit from respectful relationships and achieve their full potential.”

- Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland

Supporting Transgender Young People’ is the culmination of consultations with transgender young people whose experiences and voices feature throughout the guidance. They were clear that while they don’t expect teachers to be experts in transgender identities, they would like to see them be more confident in discussing issues that affect transgender young people and feel more able to proactively create trans-inclusive environments.

We held discussions with teachers and local authorities about their experiences in supporting transgender young people and what they’d like to see in the guidance. This allowed us to create a publication which addresses the most common questions and issues.

Transgender young people were also instrumental in the development of the learning journey ‘Introducing Transgender Identities’, which has been developed to complement ‘Supporting Transgender Young People’. This sequence of lesson ideas, the first of its kind in Scotland, has been developed with accompanying resources and has been piloted with teachers across the country.

“This guide provides a comprehensive starting point for schools which want to know how best to support their students and create a learning environment that is truly inclusive of trans people.”

- James Morton, Manager, Scottish Trans

Why is this needed?

A study of more than 300 LGBT young people in Scotland showed that:

  • 77% of transgender young people had experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying in school
  • 88% of those who had experienced transphobic bullying believed that it had negatively impacted on their education
  • LGBT young people were more likely to be conīŦdent about reporting homophobia and biphobia than about reporting transphobia
  • 37% of transgender young people had left education as a result of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in the learning environment

We know that some teachers have already received training in transgender inclusion and are actively supporting trans young people across the country. LGBT Youth Scotland can provide bespoke training on supporting transgender young people and, more generally, on LGBT awareness and inclusion.

For more information on training options, advice and support around the issues discussed above, contact info@lgbtyouth.org.uk
For press enquiries, contact communications@lgbtyouth.org.uk

Download the publication here:
Supporting Transgender Young People: Guidance for Schools in Scotland
PLEASE NOTE: If accessing this link from an iPhone or iPad, you may need to first request the desktop version of our website, from the link at the bottom of the page.


‘Supporting Transgender Young People in Education’ has been endorsed by the following Scottish local authorities:

Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Lothian Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Glasgow City Council, Highland Council, Midlothian Council, North Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Orkney Islands Council, South Ayrshire Council, West Lothian Council.

And the following organisations:

The Scottish Government, Children & Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Scottish Trans Alliance, Stonewall Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Children in Scotland, Enquire, Equality Network, HSCP Glasgow City, Healthy Respect, NHS Lothian, Respect Me, TIE: Time for Inclusive Education, Together, Waverley Care.