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Open letter to all Scottish political leaders

In light of the Final Cass Review and its implications for our Scottish public services...read our open letter to all Scottish political leaders. We need clear, thoughtful and informed answers from our politicians regarding how Scotland will shape its future public services. We need our politicians to listen to well-informed expertise and not the ill-informed activism that has so far harmed children and families and has caused havoc in our education system!


Your party’s position on gender policy in health and education

 

It is likely that the country will be going to the polls at some point over the course of the next few months.  In light of that, we are writing to Scottish party leaders to ask if their party has developed its policy in the area of gender as that relates to health and education.  We write from a ‘gender critical’ perspective.  The Scottish Union for Education (SUE) is a campaign group that is concerned about the promotion of gender ideology by activist groups to school pupils.  Scottish Professionals Advising on Gender (ScotPAG) is a group of professionals drawn from the areas of health, social work and education who have concerns about the adoption of gender ideology in those fields.

 

We would be grateful if you could state your party’s position on the following issues.

 

Education questions

 

1.       In light of the Cass Report recommendations, it appears that the Scottish Government guidance document, Supporting Transgender Pupils in Schools, is not fit for purpose. Do you agree that the guidance should be withdrawn and that all schools should be notified to that effect?  What would be the timescale for this, were you to find yourselves in government?

2.        Re the above, it will be necessary to produce new guidance written by professionals who have expertise in child development and education such as educational psychologists, teachers and social workers. What would be the timescale for this, were you to find yourselves in government?

3.        The Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood resource (RSHP) has some inappropriate gender ideology woven throughout it. Do you agree that this needs to be removed and the RSHP reviewed as a whole? What would be the timescale for this, were you to find yourselves in government?

4.        Third sector activist groups such as Stonewall and LGBT Youth Scotland have a proven influence in supporting and affirming children and adolescents who have come to believe that they are ‘trans’.  This is potentially psychologically harmful, misleading and confusing for many children and young people. Do you agree that the role of activist groups in schools and other youth settings should be reviewed and more clearly defined?  What would be the timescale for this, were you to find yourselves in government?

 

Health questions


1.      The Cass Report found that there was a lack of high-quality evidence in relation to the efficacy of gender-affirming medical procedures.  Do you agree that, in the absence of well established evidence, medical professionals working in this area should adopt a precautionary approach: “first, do no harm!”?  Do you further agree that NHS Scotland should urgently establish a comprehensive audit system that would allow for measurement of long-term outcomes in this patient group?  What would be the timescale for establishing this, were you to find yourselves in government?

2.      The Cass Report found that 3rd sector activist groups had exerted an undue influence in the development of clinical policy and clinical pathways at the Tavistock Clinic.  Do you agree that the role of 3rd sector groups in NHS gender clinics should be carefully defined, and should not extend into clinical aspects of service provision?  Draft gender services guidelines for Scotland currently envisage that 3rd sector organizations will have a role in the “design, implementation and evaluation” of NHS gender clinics.  Do you agree that this role needs to be more clearly defined?  What would be the timescale for revising this, were you to find yourselves in government?

3.      ‘Gender critical’ voices, including those of professionals, have been systematically excluded from formal participation in policy development, whilst trans activist voices have been welcomed.  Do you agree that policy in this area should be developed on the basis of science and evidence, rather than ideology?  If so, how will you ensure that a broader range of voices are able in future to contribute to formal policy development?

 

Social work question:


1.      The Care Inspectorate Guidance for Children and Young People’s Services on the Inclusion of Transgender Including Non-Binary Young People is highly problematic and at odds with Cass’s recommendations.  For example, it outlines an affirmative agenda and it advises that social care staff can directly signpost children and young people “to seek medical assistance to transition”.  Do you agree that few staff caring for children will have the expertise to make these clinical decisions?  Please provide a suitable timescale for reviewing this advice.

 

SUE and ScotPAG both have websites and social media accounts, and we assume that you will not object to our posting your replies to these questions on them.  We are grateful to you for taking the time to consider these issues.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Stuart Waiton, Chair, SUE

John Higgon, Convener, ScotPAG




letter to party leaders 26_04_24
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