Exam boards aim to record GCSE and A-level results of transgender pupils


Exam boards aim to record GCSE and A-level results of transgender pupils for the first time after consulting Stonewall – but critics warn vital data will be ‘lost’

  • Exam chiefs are aiming to record GCSE and A-level results of trans pupils
  • JCQ said it was looking at ‘collecting data’ on entries by ‘non-binary’ pupils
  • Critics warned that the new plan could mean vital data will be ‘lost’ 

EXAM chiefs may record the GCSE and A-level results of non-binary pupils for the first time.

After talks with controversial lobbying group Stonewall, the JCQ, which represents exam boards, is looking at adding an new ‘non-binary’ category beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’.

A JCQ spokesman said the move is intended to show ‘support for the non-binary community’.

The change would not take effect in time for this year’s GCSE results, released tomorrow.

Stock image of pupils sitting an exam in a classroom

Stock image of pupils sitting an exam in a classroom

The JCQ has held talks with stakeholders as well as Stonewall, an LGBT group that has previously been accused of shutting down debate on trans issues.

Currently, results are broken down by sex, enabling policy-makers to see whether one group is struggling. In last year’s GCSEs, girls extended their lead over boys in getting at least an A grade – now 9 percentage points ahead – prompting concerns about boys’ underperformance. 

Conversely, there have long been worries about low take-up of maths and physics A-levels among girls.

Adding a new category for non-binary students could help identify if they need any help in a particular area, but yesterday critics said it could also mean ‘losing’ vital data on sex, which could hamper efforts to fight inequality.

Maya Forstater, of Sex Matters campaign group, said: ‘Anything that you do to address inequality between boys and girls needs to be based on clear data. 

Schools, the Government and the exam boards all have an interest in being able to ensure boys and girls can access education and be assessed fairly.’ 

Undated file photo of students sitting an exam

Undated file photo of students sitting an exam 

She pointed out that at some schools, more than 10 per cent of students identify as non-binary – which would have a ‘significant impact’ on ‘spotting trends’.

Boards already allow pupils to edit past exam certificates to state their new gender identities.

A spokesman for the Bayswater Support Group for parents of trans children said the move would ‘likely lead to gender dysphoric young people being further confused by the conflation of sex and gender identity’.

A Stonewall spokesman said the new category would help ‘a broader spectrum of people feel recognised and respected’.

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