The TES most recent issue (11 May 2019) featured a front page promising teachers information on how they can support transgender students. However, the article then recognised Transgender Trend as its number 1 resource for teachers. The Transgender Trend resource pack has previously been criticised by Stonewall as “dangerous” and their resources as “deeply damaging” and “packed with factually incorrect content”.
The organisation also came under fire for giving “harmful” stickers to schools with slogans such as “children confused about their sex usually grow out of it”.
TES star columnist, Natasha Devon resigns in protest
One immediate consequence of the TES decision was the resignation of Mental health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE, formerly one of the Times Educational Supplement’s ‘star columnists’.
In a statement on twitter Ms Devon, who has written for TES for four years and was named their ‘columnist of the year’ during their 2018 Independent School Awards wrote ‘it is my understanding that Transgender Trend pretends to be an organisation which gives teachers tools to support transgender young people but in fact does the opposite….I cannot remain professionally associated with a publication which supports transphobia”.
In a tweet announcing her decision, Ms Devon wrote: “I am absolutely gutted to have to tell you I just officially resigned as a @tes columnist. I did it in solidarity with the #trans community and you can read my full statement below”.
Natasha Devon official statement on her resignation as a TES columnist
Ms Devon has been an outspoken ally for the trans community, coming under fire in November 2017 when she told the Girls Schools Association conference they shouldn’t ‘assume’ all their pupils identified as girls. She
also has a history of cutting ties with organisations who don’t
match her values, controversially being fired as the government’s
Mental Health Champion in 2016 after refusing to stop being critical
of education and austerity policy.
TES has yet to release an official statement.