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Home Publication Trans staff and students in HE and colleges: improving experiences

Trans staff and students in HE and colleges: improving experiences

Published: 07/11/2016

A fully-updated revision to ECU's 2010 guidance.

trans-guidance-2016-coverThe support of managers and colleagues, staff and fellow students helps to ensure a positive experience for trans people who decide to share their trans history,
identity or decision to transition.

ECU receives frequent queries from institutions and colleges who are supporting trans staff and students, and this guidance aims to answer the most common questions, outlines how you can develop an inclusive culture and non-discriminatory policies, and offers tools and templates to support your work.

Fully updated and revised from our 2010 guidance, the 2016 version is aimed at staff in higher education institutions across the UK and colleges in Scotland, who manage staff or support or teach students. It will also be useful for staff working in students’ unions or associations.

Areas covered by the guidance:

  • Legislation: and overview of the relevant law
  • Policies: trans equality and trans inclusive policies
  • Culture: building a trans-inclusive environment
  • Supporting individuals: responsibilities when supporting trans applicants, staff, students and former students
  • Data: understanding your trans population

Download the guidance

There are also a number of resources and tools that you can adapt:

In addition to a number of resources highlighted within the ECU trans guidance, the information below refers to two other relevant resources, published in Scotland in 2017.

  • TransEdu Scotland project

The TransEdu Scotland research investigated the experiences of, and current provision for, trans and gender diverse applicants, students and staff in further and higher education across Scotland (2016-2017). This project was undertaken by Dr Stephanie Mckendry and Dr Matson Lawrence at the University of Strathclyde, and was funded by the Scottish Funding Council. The purpose of this research was to provide empirical evidence to inform the fulfilment of institutional statutory and ethical obligations, and to build an evidence base to underpin institutional equality strategies in Scotland. The report, including key findings and recommendations, together with further information and practical resources is available at

The website hosts a range of information and practical resources about supporting and developing provision for trans students and staff in further and higher education. This includes guidance, case studies, multimedia resources, workshop materials, research findings, terminology, and links to an array of excellent resources from across the sector. The website is administered by Dr Matson Lawrence and Dr Stephanie Mckendry at the University of Strathclyde.

  • LGBT Youth Scotland trans guidance ‘Supporting transgender for young people: guidance for schools in Scotland’

LGBT Youth Scotland launched new guidance in November 2017, developed in partnership with the Scottish Trans Alliance. This resource is aimed at helping primary and secondary education staff to support transgender children and young people and is informed by the experiences of young people and teachers. It was funded by the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit and involved rigorous consultation, including extensive consultation with transgender young people, whose voices feature throughout the guidance. It has been endorsed by a number of organisations and local authorities, including the Children’s and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland and key organisations working with children and young people. The guidance can be found here.

Note: If you downloaded a copy of this publication before 16.11.2016, please note that on p67, paragraph 3, it should read: Monitoring data should be stored confidentially.

This error has been amended in the version available to download above.