Susan Sinclair

Independent Researcher on Women's Sex Based Rights

School Guidance

Bullying and harassment of children in schools

In the Autumn of 2016 the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament began work on the ‘Bullying and Harassment of children and young people in schools’. They collated a wide variety of evidence, both oral and written from a number of stakeholders, including groups working with children and educational professionals and local authorities. The evidence gathered by the Committee found that concerns were expressed ‘around the growing normalisation of sexualised bullying of girls and young women in education’.

Submissions were received from women and girl groups like Girlguiding Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland and Engender. These submissions describe a very bleak account of the sexual harassment and sexual crimes occurring daily within our schools.

“Girls told us that sexual harassment in schools is widespread. 59% of girls and young women aged 11-21 say they have experienced sexual harassment at school, including sexual taunts and unwanted touching” Girlguiding Girls Attitude Survey

When the unwanted sexual comments and sexual harassment of our girls at school are normalised or dismissed as ‘banter’ then it feeds into our wider culture. Our children and young people grow up learning this behaviour is acceptable. This then impacts how we as a society then respond to the rising instances of sexual assaults and rape.

“We have heard of instances where girls have reported that boys in their school have raped them ……….. In some cases this has been reported to the police or social work, but no further action was taken and they boy remains in the school” Rape Crisis Scotland

Read the full article here.

Guidelines for Schools that 5yo can choose their gender to be rolled out next year

Guidelines for all schools in Scotland are due to be rolled out next year include informing 5 year olds they can choose their gender. Here are some extracts from the draft.


“Your gender is what you decide. You might be a boy or a girl”.
This is aimed at Level 1, recommended to be suitable for P2 onwards or perhaps sooner in some cases. Primary 2 children are 5 & 6 year olds.

This is the recommended reading list for this age …..

Read full article here.

Controversial LGBT school guidance which discards single sex spaces and sports

Government funded LGBT Youth Scotland ‘Supporting Transgender Young People: Guidance for Schools in Scotlnd’ has been issued to Local Authorities all across the country. It has been endorsed by Children’s Commissioner, Children’s charities, Local Authorities etc despite it controversially discarding the need for single sex spaces and sports.


No Equality Impact Assessments were carried out, neither by the organisations who compiled the guidance nor the Local Authorities who have distributed it amongst their schools.

As a mother of daughters who are directly impacted by this I began asking questions. I shared @Transgendertrd school pack and I got blocked from LGBT Scotland, the authors of the guidance issued across Scotland.

Most of the organisations who have endorsed the LGBT guidance are publically funded, which means they have a responsibility to be transparent to the public about their decision making process and the importance of taking into account ….

Read the full article here.

U-turn on controversial LGBT school guidance

Scottish Government have done a U-turn and no longer endorse this controversial transgender school guidance. This guidance has been distributed across all Local Authorities, many of which presumably adopted it on the understanding it had full Government backing.

The statement came as a result of threatened legal action over the guidance. The govt deny ever having endorsed it, saying it was an error of LGBT Scotland. The document has since been updated with the Govts logo removed.

Read the full article here.

Sexual Harassment & Sexist Bullying of schoolgirls excluded from Anti-Bullying guidance

On Thursday 6/12/18 the Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee met with Christina McKelvie MSP , the Minister for Older People and Equalities for an ask-the-Minister session. In the week or so leading up to this session the Committee had taken the move to ask members of the public via Twitter and Facebook for their questions and concerns, a selection of which were put to the minister. I took this opportunity to ask some questions of my own and was lucky enough to have a few selected. I’ll create a separate post for each category and will include those questions from others which were within the same topic as my own.

It is worth noting that many of my questions relate directly to the work of this Committee during the time period when Christina McKelvie was Convener, who has only recently been elevated to ministerial office in June 2018.

I was fortunate that my own question of why the Sexual Harassment & Sexist Bullying of schoolgirls was excluded from the national Anti-Bullying guidance was put to the Minister…..

Read full article here.

Template Letter to MSP’s: Respect For All Anti-Bullying School Guidance & Sexual Harassment


I am concerned about the recent media reporting of the increase of sexual harassment and sexual violence occurring within schools, not only in Scotland but across the U.K.. In 2016 both the Scottish and U.K. Governments held inquiries into the sexual harassment of children in school which revealed an alarming, epidemic rise of incidents. Specialists from Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) sectors gave evidence showing that the victims in the vast majority of these sexual incidents are girls, and the perpetrators in the vast majority of sexual incidents are boys and men. There is a growing misogynistic culture within schools trivialising the violence against girls and justifies it as normal behaviour or even inevitable. VAWG groups called for urgent action including developing a zero tolerance approach, relationship education around consent, teacher training, a specific framework for teaching staff on how to recognise and respond to reports along with a robust system for the recording and monitoring of all incidents.….

Read full letter here.

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Thank you for all your support, Susan Sinclair

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