4.1.1 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) states “Individuals with Gender Dysphoria have a marked incongruence between the gender they have been assigned to (usually at birth, referred to as natal gender) and their experienced/expressed gender. This discrepancy is the core component of the diagnosis. There must also be evidence of distress about this incongruence.” (p.453).
4.1.2 Gender Dysphoria is recognised as a mental health condition. It should not be confused with the occasional gender experimentation or gender questioning experienced by some children and adolescents during their maturation and development.
4.2.1 Any staff member who receives a disclosure of gender dysphoria and/or other gender identity disclosures as detailed in the procedures, from a student, and/or parent/carer about a student will report the disclosure to the school Principal and/or Manager: Student
Wellbeing and Learning.
4.2.2 Any notification or application relating to a student experiencing gender dysphoria must be directed to the Principal, who will discuss the matter with the Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning and the Parish Priest.
4.2.3 Upon receiving a notification or application relating to a student, the school Principal will notify the Manager Student Wellbeing and Learning and the Parish Priest. The Manager Student Wellbeing and Learning will then notify Director: Mission and Identity and
Director: School Support.
4.2.4 The Principal will then compile all available and relevant medical reports, including those from the treating psychiatrist/s, as well as any other information relevant to the request from the student’s parents or carers. The Manager Student Wellbeing and Learning will seek from the parents a diagnosis of gender dysphoria according to the DSM-5 from a treating psychiatrist. Following the provision of the information, the Principal, the Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning and the Director of Mission and Identity will review and assess the documentation.
4.2.5 The Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning will immediately advise the notification and any related request for a student with a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis in accordance with the DSM-5 by a treating psychiatrist:
- Director: School Support
- Director: Mission and Identity
4.2.6 A recommendation will then be made to the Executive Director following consultation with the Director: School Support.
4.2.7 All details will be kept confidential to those parties outlined above and the school.
4.3.1 The Executive Director will make a final determination in relation to any request concerning a student with Gender Dysphoria.
4.3.2 In considering a request, the needs of the student are to be balanced with the ability of the school and parish community to provide the necessary and appropriate support to the student and their family.
4.3.3 In instances where a request for support cannot be accommodated within the school, the Principal and the Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning will meet with the student’s parents or carers to discuss alternatives.
4.3.4 The decision to accommodate a request for support within a school community must be accompanied by a Pastoral Support Plan.
4.3.5 The Executive Director will ensure that the Archbishop, or his nominated representative, is informed of the background and status of the case and notification, and the substance of any related request(s).
4.4.1 The Pastoral Support plan is developed by the school in consultation with the Student Wellbeing and Learning Team. The Principal should seek the involvement of the Parish Priest in developing the plan. The plan must be agreed to by the student’s parents or
carers, and where appropriate, the student.
4.4.2 The school, the Student Wellbeing and Learning Team, the student’s parents or carers, and where appropriate, the student will agree to protocols regarding the student’s specific areas of need. Particular emphasis will be given to private needs, such as toileting
and use of change rooms, as well as participation in sport.
4.4.3 The school will identify in the plan any additional strategies needed to address issues which may arise from other students around bullying and/or harassment, consistent with their school anti-bullying policy.
4.4.4 The Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning and the Director: Mission and Identity will liaise with the school to determine the educational needs of the community. Where appropriate, education sessions will be held for staff, students and/or parents or carers. These sessions will explain the nature of Gender Dysphoria and examine the potential implications for the student, their family, and the wider school community.
4.4.5 All cases will be treated with confidentiality and sensitivity. Any correspondence or communication to the school community, requires the approval of the Executive Director through the Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning, in consultation with the student’s parents or carers.