Scottish Labour has distanced itself from the UK party’s position on a proposed ban on teaching “gender ideology” in schools.

Pam Duncan Glancy, the party’s education spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament was categorical that she and colleagues in the Scottish Parliament supported LGBT+ inclusive education.

This includes the belief that a person can have a gender different to their biological sex.

That puts her and Labour's MSPs at odds with Sir Keir Starmer.

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Late last year, the Conservative government published draft guidance which said "gender ideology," should not be taught in schools in England.

Last week, during an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson, repeatedly refused to endorse the guidelines and criticised their “partisan and unnecessary language”.

She said the government had made the issue “harder to navigate” for schools, and said: “There are trans people within society and their existence should be recognised.”

However, the next day, Sir Keir told reporters that a Labour government would not overturn the ban.

“No, I’m not in favour of ideology being taught in our schools on gender,” Starmer told reporters in Kettering.

He added that he was in favour of “age-appropriate” teaching on transgender issues.

“I do think teachers need guidance,” Starmer said. “I think we need to complete the consultation process and make sure that there is guidance that is age appropriate.”

Asked if this position was supported by Scottish Labour, Ms Duncan-Glancy told the Herald on Sunday: "Labour is proud of our history challenging prejudice and hate, including in schools.

"We all want young people to feel safe at school and receive the age-appropriate education they need to make informed decisions in life.

"Education is a devolved matter, and Scottish Labour supports LGBT+ inclusive education in schools.

"We need supportive environments for young people and clear advice and guidance for staff.”

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Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said LGBTQ people across the UK were “increasingly afraid of this race to the bottom between Labour and the Tories, both of whom seem determined to legitimise and stoke up bigotry against us for the sake of a few more votes.”

He added: “The Scottish Greens were proud to campaign for LGBTQ-inclusive education and to support the work of Time for Inclusive Education.

“Every young person deserves to feel safe, included and respected at school but what Keir Starmer is proposing would simply punish and stigmatise young trans people in particular and take us back to the dark days of Section 28.

“We know that the views of the Scottish Labour leadership do not matter here. Any Labour MP elected in Scotland will take their orders from Keir Starmer, a man determined to get into power by repeating sinister Tory attacks on the very existence of trans people.

“A vote for Labour is, sadly, a vote against equality.”

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Meghan Gallacher accused Labour of "arrogance."

She said: “It seems Scottish Labour have learned nothing from Anas Sarwar’s decision to whip his MSPs to support the SNP’s reckless gender self-ID bill.
“Labour, like the SNP, arrogantly ignored the warnings that it threatened the safety of women and girls – and they are doing so again by not looking at school settings.
“The Scottish Conservatives are the only party who are in tune with the vast majority of Scots by putting the protection of single-sex spaces ahead of gender ideology.”   

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In September 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to officially embed inclusive education in the school curriculum.

That followed a lengthy campaign by the Time for Inclusive Education campaign.

As part of this, the Scottish Government published and provided teachers with guidance on “supporting transgender pupils In schools."

It tells teachers they may be the first person a child or young person has spoken to about their gender identity.

And when they do so, they are advised against telling them it’s just a phase and instead ask what name and pronoun they want to be addressed by, sometimes known as social transitioning.

Earlier this year, there were calls from campaigners and MSPs to look again at the guidance in the wake of the Cass Review.

In her report, paediatrician Hilary Cass said that while there is “no clear evidence” that social transitioning can positively or negatively impact mental health in childhood, it could “change the trajectory” of a child’s gender identity development.

“For this reason, a more cautious approach needs to be taken for children than for adolescents,” it added.

“For those going down a social transition pathway, maintaining flexibility and keeping options open by helping the child to understand their body as well as their feelings is likely to be advantageous.”