Children as young as four will be able to change their name and gender at school without their parents’ consent under new LGBT inclusivity guidelines drawn up by the Scottish Government.
A 70-page document, issued to schools north of the border on Thursday, calls on teachers not to question pupils if they say that they want to transition to live as a boy or a girl and to instead ask them for their new name and pronouns.
The controversial guidance claims that it is possible to “come out” as transgender “at any age” and that the views of young people should be respected if they do not want their parents to be informed.
Scotland’s schools have also been told that trans pupils should be able to use whatever lavatory or changing room they choose, to develop “gender neutral” uniform options, and to include transgender characters and role models in reading material and lessons.
LGBT advocacy groups such as Stonewall, which helped draw up the guidance, welcomed the move and claimed the rules would help all children to “thrive”.
However, campaigners claimed a dangerous ideology was being pushed into schools and warned that children who displayed normal behaviour, such as playing with toys stereotypically associated with the other sex, risked being wrongly labelled as transgender.