Hereford & Worcester

Transgender teenager sues Hereford school for discrimination

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Media captionAidan says he was told by the school that it was 'a phase'

A transgender teenager is taking legal action against his former school for discrimination.

Aidan, 16, who was born female, claims he was effectively excluded because Hereford Cathedral School refused to let him wear a boy's uniform.

This was despite the support of his mother and the family's GP as he began his transition.

The action is being taken under the 2010 Equality Act. The school said it would defend its position.

Aidan said that when he came out as a boy his mother was "definitely heartbroken".

"I feel like she had dreams of seeing her daughter getting married and having children," he said. "She definitely needed time to mourn and I needed to let her have that time."


The Equality Act: Gender reassignment guidance for schools

  • It is unlawful for schools to treat pupils less favourably because of their gender reassignment
  • Schools must factor in gender reassignment when considering their obligations under the Equality Act
  • To be protected by the Act, a pupil will not necessarily have to be undertaking a medical procedure to change their sex, but must be taking steps to live in the opposite gender, or proposing to do so
  • Schools need to make sure that all gender variant pupils are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils

Source: Department for Education, The Equality Act 2010 and schools


When he told the school he did not want to be addressed as a girl or wear girl's clothes, he claims staff said it was a "phase" that he would grow out of.

He said he was told he was "attention seeking". "They didn't really take it seriously," he added.

Mother Jackie described the school's treatment as "appalling".

"They made my child out to be a freak and someone who would contaminate other students," she claimed.

A letter from Aidan's mother to the school's chair of governors says she had no choice but to remove her son from the school after being told the school was "inadequately prepared to accommodate Aidan's needs and give him the high level of support and pastoral care that he deserves".

The legal action is currently ongoing through the courts.

It is understood part of the school's defence claims Aidan was withdrawn from the school by his family, prior to a final decision being made by them about whether his needs could be met.

In a statement Hereford Cathedral School said: "The continued happiness, wellbeing and safety of our pupils is the top priority.

"The family's grievances against the school are the subject of current legal proceedings. For that reason the school is unable to discuss any details relating to this matter at the present time, other than to state that it will defend its position in the proceedings."

Note: The family wished to remain anonymous so names have been changed.

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