Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Gender Non-conforming Young People

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 10:15 pm ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities) 10:15, 15 Ebrill 2024

The hon. Member is absolutely right to raise the issues in regard to the Equality Act. This can get quite complex and I would be terrified of saying the wrong words at the Dispatch Box, but if he allows me, I will write to him with a few more details on those important points.

I was talking about the processes in the statutory guidance. Our colleagues in the Department for Education are reviewing the statutory guidance and we expect that to go out to public consultation later this year. The review has been informed by an independent expert panel, which brought together inputs from health, curriculum and safeguarding. We hope that that will be a good piece of work that provides updates on the guidance.

As for guidance relating to gender-questioning students, the hon. Member will be aware that the Department for Education published comprehensive draft guidance for teachers on how best to support pupils questioning their gender in schools. Parents, teachers and school leaders were encouraged to respond to that 12-week consultation, which closed on 12 March. A range of views will be considered, and I look forward to the publication of the consultation response as we continue to work in this sensitive area. It is important that we get that absolutely right and that parents are involved; that is incredibly important.

I feel like I have not given the hon. Member a million answers at this stage, but I hope he will understand that we have just had the Cass report, and it is important that we take the time to consider it. We are going through the review of the guidance that I mentioned. It is important that those proper processes take place. On the other issues that he has raised, I will write to my colleagues in the Department for Health and Social Care, and I will update him when I have had a response.

In the meantime, I thank the hon. Member for raising this important area of work. My view is that we all want to help people to live their lives as they wish, without prejudice or pressure, and there is a responsibility on all of us in this House to do that in a way that is humane and compassionate. I am grateful for the opportunity to outline what we are doing as a Government to support that.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.