An education policy launched by the Maltese government on the 16th of June, 2015 is another ground-breaking move, inspired by the landmark Gender Expression, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Act passed earlier this year.
The policy is the first of its kind in Europe; no other European country has a comprehensive education policy focusing on the needs of trans, gender variant and intersex children. It identified several particular needs that must be addressed including confidentiality, adequate facilities, support, inclusive policies, the possibility to amend documentation and access to information.
The policy is accompanied by a procedure, which outlines how the policy’s provisions should be implemented uniformly in all schools. Both documents focus on how to address the issues faced by trans and intersex students in schools and how to accommodate their needs. This policy highlights the fundamental obligation placed on schools to provide all students with a safe and inclusive educational environment.
Although not specifically required under the GIGESC Act, this policy breathes life in Article 13 of that Act which obliges the government to promote equality and protect LGBTI people from discrimination. As a result, the legislation is the driving force behind the policy and its accompanying procedure. In terms of the policy’s specific goals, it aims to foster a school environment that is inclusive and safe, free from discrimination and harassment and promotes diversity.