A couple who have battled for more than four years over a transgender row in their children’s school, have won their right to a judicial review.
Nigel and Sally Rowe first hit the headlines in 2017 when they withdrew their son from his Church of England primary school after a row with the school over a trans pupil.
The child was coming to school identifying some days as a boy and some days a girl, leaving the Rowe’s six year old son confused and upset.
When the Christian couple raised the issue with the school, they were told their child could be labelled a 'transphobic' bully for not being trans-affirming.
In a letter, the school suggested that an “inability to believe a transgender person is actually a ‘real’ female or male” and the refusal to “acknowledge a transgendered person’s true gender eg by failing to use their adopted name or using gender inappropriate pronouns,” was “transphobic behaviour”.
The Isle of Wight parents, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, initially appealed to the Secretary of State for Education to intervene, but he declined saying it had nothing to do with education but was about meeting the needs of children.
Now a high court judge, Lord Justice Lane, has ruled that it is arguable that education has a wider definition than the Secretary of State for Education was describing, and that the school’s culture and sex education policies could be described as education. He also said it was arguable that the Secretary of State had failed to pay due regard to the scientific evidence the Rowes had put forward.
A judicial review hearing over the Department for Education’s refusal to intervene in their case and its promotion of the transgender guidelines in primary schools is expected to take place within the next three months.
Speaking to campaign group Christian Concern, Sally Rowe said: “It has been a long time but it has been worth it. We are really glad that now we are able to move our challenge forward.”