SCHOOLCHILDREN as young as four will be allowed to change their gender without their parent's consent under new LGBT inclusivity guidelines drawn up in Scotland.
Teachers are being told not to question a child's request to choose a new name or use a different toilet, and to respect and support any decision regarding gender identity the pupil might make.
The Scottish Government guidelines say that "recognition and development of gender identity can occur at a young age".
"Primary schools need to be able to meet the needs of these young people to ensure they have a safe, inclusive and respectful environment in which to learn," the guidance says.
If a child chooses to go by a different name, or use a different toilet, teachers are expected to let them do as they wish, regardless of any objections from other pupils.
The advice says that teachers should ask the child if their family is aware that they are considering their gender identity, but does not explicitly say the teacher must contact them to discuss the issue.
Schools are also being encouraged to put books featuring transgender people on the curriculum and to consider adopting gender-neutral uniforms.
Marion Calder, co-director of the For Women Scotland campaign group, described the guidelines as "really, really worrying".
"The bottom line is this is a dangerous ideology that the Scottish Government is pushing," she said.
"It used to be commonly understood that children should be able to play and experiment with gender roles, with clothing, their likes and dislikes.
"Those children are now being encouraged on to a medical pathway, potentially for the rest of their lives."
Scottish eduction secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville disagreed, saying: "This guidance outlines how schools can support transgender young people while ensuring that the rights of all pupils are fully respected.
"It provides schools with practical suggestions. The guidance is not prescriptive and does not promote transitioning."