Australian Catholic schools to follow new guidelines on gender and identity

Catholic Bishops Conference releases guidance for modern schooling

Australian Catholic schools to follow new guidelines on gender and identity
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Australia's Catholic schools will follow new guidelines on identity and gender as part of a more flexible approach to address changing social norms.

The fresh guidelines will factor in an individual student's preferred name, identity and personal pronouns which will be noted on school records, along with their biological sex at time of enrolment.

The advice, which covers 1,700 Catholic schools across Australia and about 780,000 students, includes providing unisex toilets and being 'more flexible' with uniform expectations.

But the guidelines, outlined at a recent Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will ask teachers to refrain from encouraging the use of puberty blockers, hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery.

It is understood that 'five key principles' will be utilised to guide a pastoral approach to students experiencing 'gender variance'.

The Australian reports that the church said actions will cause 'unnecessary damage' such as possible infertility and the 'possibility for healthy human growth'.

The news report stated:

The guidance voices grave concerns over an affirmation-based approach to students experiencing gender ­dysphoria and instead steers educators to a “biopsychosocial model” based on research showing a high correlation between “childhood gender incongruence and family dynamics”.

“In this model, practitioners promote ongoing psychological support for the child or young person through engaging with families,” the guidance says. “By discovering the child’s and family’s stories, practitioners are able to understand the gender variance felt by the child or young person within the context of family and their domestic environment.”

Catholic schools have been advised to be conscious of the needs of the 'gender variant student' and will provide 'appropriate bathroom and sleeping arrangements where all students feel safe and supported'. 



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  • By Avi Yemini

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