SCOTTISH schools have been urged to ignore “derogatory, demeaning and dangerous” guidance issued by NHS England on transgender school children.

Concerns have been raised following the publication of NHS advice which suggested that most trans children were simply going through a “transient phase”.

The Scottish Greens have criticised the advice and said it was straight out of a "homophobic playbook of the 1980s". 

The NHS England guidance stated: “This may be a transient phase, particularly for prepubertal children, and that there will be a range of pathways to support these children and young people and a range of outcomes.

“A significant proportion of children and young people who are concerned about or distressed by issues of gender incongruence, experience co-existing mental health, neurodevelopmental and/or family or social complexities in their lives.”

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The advice issued by NHS England flies in the face of guidance given to Scottish schools which specifically warned against the trivialisation of children’s gender identities.

The Scottish advice, which was issued in August last year, states: “Don’t say ‘it’s just a phase’ as this can diminish the importance of the issue for the young person.”

Scottish Greens equalities spokeswoman Maggie Chapman said that referring to children’s trans identity as a “phase” was “derogatory, demeaning and dangerous”.

She added: “The fact that NHS England guidance would refer to it in those terms is very concerning. This is straight out of the homophobic playbook of the 1980s when attacks against gay people included statements like, ‘It’s just a phase; he will grow out of it’.

“The process of coming out can often be very difficult and traumatic, and young people should be supported through it, not patronised, belittled, or dismissed. We will always stand with the LGBTQIA+ community and our trans siblings.

"I am proud that with Greens in government we are finally introducing the long overdue reform of the Gender Recognition Act to allow for self-ID and that we are transforming trans healthcare and ending conversion practices.”

Speaking to The Times, Colin Macfarlane, director of nations at LGBT+ charity Stonewall, advised that Scottish institutions should follow the current advice.

He said: “Trans pupils deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, at all times. The Scottish guidance on supporting trans pupils follows international best practice by ensuring trans and gender diverse young people are supported to be themselves.”