Readers of the Watford Observer have been vocal on a girls’ school trust decision to not accept transgender pupils.

It was reported that the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which runs Northwood College for Girls, changed its admission rules in December to welcome students based on their legal sex rather than someone’s gender identity – meaning the trust would not accept applicants legally born male but who identify as trans.

Applications from legally born females who identify as trans or non-binary would be “carefully” considered on a “case-by-case basis”, said the trust.

While the decision was enough to spark a petition calling for the new admissions policy to be dropped, the majority of readers at the Watford Observer appears to instead be in favour of the new rules.

It sparked debate as thousands voiced their opinions– with some dismissing the trans experience, claiming that a person legally born as male who identifies as trans is not a female, and others saying that trans girls should not be excluded from the opportunity to study at a girls' school.


Northwood College for Girls, which is part of the Girls Day School Trust. Credit: Google Maps

Northwood College for Girls, which is part of the Girls' Day School Trust. Credit: Google Maps


Laurie Kirby said: “Trans women are women, therefore they deserve to attend a girls school if they wish.”

Another reader, Abbie Smith, criticised how blunt people were being in applauding the school trust and not willing to listen to how this could segregate and mentally affect trans pupils.

She said: “There's a difference to having an opinion and being civil behind it than having an opinion and being downright offensive about it.

“Notice how almost everyone agreeing in these comments are people with kids and a family and everything in between. what if your kid is transgender? what happens to ‘I’ll always love you’?”

Trevor Griffiths proposed “starting a school for transgender children” and in explaining his reasoning he said: “What I suggest is all children should feel safe.

“Just because a boy says he is a she does all ways mean they will always feel that way or would the school they are in be comfortable to IE let a biological boy to use girls showers or toilets.”

READ MORE: Petition as girls' school trust will no longer admit transgender pupils

There were several other comments implying that cis females could feel “unsafe” or "threatened" with a transgender pupil.

To such comments, Sarah Middleton argued: "There's nothing threatening about someone wearing a dress or trousers in a cubicle, no matter what's in their pants.

"What matters is who they are on the inside, surely?"

But many readers applauded the deicsion, including Richard Simmons, who said: “Good for the governors of the school. All views must be protected. No minority has the right to put themselves above another. All should be equal and act within the law.”

The Observer also conducted a poll to understand what the general public consensus is.

At the time of writing, 12,228 voters (84 per cent) said single-sex schools should only allow people legally born as the sex required.

Whereas 2,323 voters (16 per cent) said that schools should be accepting based on a child’s identity, rather than on relying their legal sex on their birth certificate.

The poll however is still open and ends on Sunday (January 16).

Watford Observer: The results seen at the time of writingThe results seen at the time of writing

In the UK, trans men and women can only correct their legal sex on their birth certificate over the age of 18, meaning children and teenagers that identify as trans would not be able to change their legal sex in an attempt to attend schools at the trust.