Private school reported parents to social services for ‘refusing to affirm their trans son’s new identity’

“Watchful waiting” refers to an approach to medical problems in which time can pass before any intervention or therapy is put into place; on trans issues, this means authorities will monitor the child’s view of their own gender without taking action.

Evidence suggests that many children struggling with gender identity will ‘revert’ to identifying as a member of their biological sex as they age, but George Watson’s College doubled down on “respecting his [the child’s] wishes to use the masculine pronouns”, which it said was a decision made with the child’s “best interest and wellbeing at heart”.

The school, which boasts alumni including six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy, had received a gold charter award in 2019 from controversial trans charity LGBT Youth Scotland (LGBTYS).

LGBTYS, which receives Scottish Government and NHS funding, which administers teacher training courses, advises schools on rewriting more “inclusive” policies, and gives schools gold, silver or bronze ratings denoting their LGBTQ+ friendliness.


Like hundreds of other schools under the umbrella of the LGBTYS charter scheme, George Watson’s College runs an LGBT club, which the child had joined.

The mother claimed she had been “repeatedly lied to by the school” and felt her child “was just seen as a little guinea pig by the school and LGBT Youth Scotland”.

She continued: “We had received two expert opinions, including from a specialist in gender, not to challenge our child but that adults should basically turn a blind eye, and not affirm her.

“But these experts were repeatedly dismissed by teachers… They literally said to us on one occasion that LGBT Youth Scotland were the experts in this.

“Rather than engaging meaningfully with us, we were referred to social services by the school and investigated – fortunately, they were sensible and it went no further, but the fact that this was deemed appropriate in the first place is outrageous.”

While sources at the school admitted social services had been contacted, according to the Telegraph, they said this was for “advice” about how to “support the young person”, adding that they had never seen the professional advice the teen’s parents had obtained.


“We have always worked collaboratively with parents and apologise to those involved in this case for any distress caused by what are difficult and challenging circumstances.

“Every school in Scotland has to weigh up parental engagement with the rights of children, with transitioning being a fluid and ongoing challenge for all.

“The welfare of our pupils remains our first priority and we continue to work constructively with both parents and their children as we work through these matters.”

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