Department of Education

Behaviour and Wellbeing

Behaviour and Wellbeing

Supporting transgender and intersex students

It is essential that students experiencing this situation are appropriately supported and the school is sensitive to the young person’s needs. 

Transgender is a general term applying to individuals whose gender identity and experience does not match dominant cultural expectations about what it means to be male or female. This includes a person whose gender identity does not ‘match’ their physical/biological sex ‘assigned’ at birth, who may identify as ‘transsexual’. 

Intersex refers to a characteristic of a person who is born with reproductive organs, genitalia and/or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male or female.  There are many different intersex states which may or may not be visible or diagnosed.

Key facts

  • The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 requires the Department of Education to provide work and learning environments free of unlawful discrimination and harassment.
  • The Department’s Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment policy and procedures outline the grounds of unlawful discrimination and harassment applicable to students and staff.
  • The Student Behaviour policy and procedures require all public schools to create and maintain a safe and positive learning environment as part of their behaviour management planning.  This policy refers specifically to homophobic forms of bullying, gender and sexuality based harassment. 
  • The sexual harassment of students is also addressed in the Child Protection policy.
  • The Western Australian Government Policy Framework for Substantive Equality recognises that equal treatment is not about treating people the same; rather it is about treating people differently in order to cater for different needs.

How do I support a transgender student?

  • Work with your school psychologist and the Lead School Psychologist to develop a support plan in conjunction with the student and parent/carer.
  • Contact the child transgender unit at Princess Margaret Hospital on 9340 7030 for specialised advice on supporting the student.
  • Read the transgender and intersex FAQs and other resources below to inform the school’s management and support plan.
  • If you require immediate advice, contact Coosje Griffiths, Manager Complex Learning and Wellbeing on 9402 6133.

Resources

Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commission:

 

Other national government resources:

  • Anti‑bullying programs including whole‑school strategies and classroom resources are available through the Bullying. No Way! website.
  • The Student Wellbeing Hub website includes information and resources to create safe and supportive schools for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students and a range of issues relating to inclusion and student wellbeing.

Contact information

Complex Learning and Wellbeing

Statewide Services Centre

T:  9402 6133

Gender diversity
http://det.wa.edu.au/studentsupport/behaviourandwellbeing/detcms/navigation/safe-and-supportive-schools/gender-diversity/

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