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Gender and disability discrimination?

evarb Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited November 18 in Education
My AFAB son is autistic, has selective mutism and dyspraxia. He’s also academically gifted, works incredibly hard at school and loves learning. 
He’s in year 5 so we’re looking at secondary schools and he has his heart set on the local grammar school. His primary school teachers think he’s an excellent candidate and his tests and scores indicate he would get on well there but the grammar schools near us are single-sex.
The boys’ school have said they will not accept him as they only accept AMAB children and the girls school - which we don’t really want anyway because he isn’t a girl - have said they would accept him because he was AFAB but that they can’t handle his “level of need”, referring to his disabilities! They’ve never even met him and know nothing about him or his needs are just basing it on his labels and potentially also because he presents as male! Any advice where I go from here? 


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,025 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evarb - I just wanted to welcome you to the community. I can appreciate somewhat slightly the problems you're facing, as my eldest grandchild, AFAB, is now my grandson, but he didn't mention how he felt until just after his 18th birthday. He's now doing a Modern Apprenticeship, & the only quandary he faced was which toilets to use; he now has access to a disabled toilet. Surely disabled toilets should by now be available in schools, & I can only see this as a 'potential' hindrance to him not being accepted into a boys' school. The girls' school doesn't appear from what you've said to be an option anyway, so unless your son feels different, I would forget them.
    I'm wondering if IPSEA may be able to advise? Please see:   I hope you don't mind me mentioning this, as altho your son is gifted, you mention him being on the autistic spectrum, etc. & I'm hoping they have come across this situation before.
    Hopefully some of our other members may know more. All I can say is that your son has the right to appropriate education, & his gender orientation, &/or disabilities should definitely not be a hindrance.
    My best wishes, & hope some of this may help.
  • evarb
    evarb Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks I’m waiting for the ipsea helpline to open tomorrow and will call them as haven’t been able to find much about it. 
    I’m just so upset for him.
    I don’t understand why the boys’ school won’t accept him and I feel the girls’ school won’t for the same reason but they’re blaming him being disabled instead. Whether it’s gender or disability I feel both schools are discriminating against him.
    Has your grandson been able to find friends and people that accept him? How is he getting on?
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,025 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evarb - my grandson is a very quiet young man, & doesn't go out of his way to try & make friends. He still has a school friend, & someone he met online that has the same gender orientation as himself; apparently with him all they talk about is art.
    6th form college was a little difficult, as he'd enrolled using his female name, & then along came Covid, so most of his work was then done from home. He's now officially changed his name, & he says everyone on the Modern Apprenticeship is fine with him, but he doesn't talk with them (unless he has to!) He is enjoying it however, & they're pleased with his work. He does seem to be gaining in confidence, & is a lot happier.
    I hope IPSEA prove helpful, & would you kindly let us know how you get on with them, thank you.


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