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Equality and diversity

Trans inclusive guide

The guide provides information about support for trans staff and students.

We use the term ‘trans’ as an umbrella term. It includes men and women and people who have non-binary, non-gender or gender-fluid identities. We warmly welcome feedback to help us realise our ambition. If you have comments or suggestions, please email our Equality and Diversity Adviser on equalities@yorksj.ac.uk. If you are concerned about contacting a generic email address, you can speak to one of our trans contacts

This guide provides information about our trans inclusivity policy and support. It is aimed at all students and staff, and will also be useful for applicants for study or work and alumni who identify as trans individuals. We have arranged information by topic alphabetically, and we hope that this makes it easy to find.

Popular topics include information on changing your name and the difference between your known name and official name. 

A - H

York St John welcomes applications to study by people with diverse identities and from all backgrounds. We recognise that trans applicants may face practical issues and may have concerns about disclosing their trans status that would help us address these issues. Trans applicants are encouraged to contact the University to seek support and advice, either the admissions team or a dedicated contact. The information will be disclosed to specific individual staff on a strictly need-to-know basis, after consultation with the applicant. Applicants have the option to request a meeting with the dedicated person for trans students at an interview day.

Resources and contacts

York St John welcomes applications to work by people with diverse identities and from all backgrounds. We recognise that trans applicants may face practical issues and may have concerns about disclosing their trans status that would help us address these issues. Trans applicants are encouraged to contact the University to seek support and advice, either with the Resourcing and On-boarding team or a dedicated HR contact. The information will be disclosed to specific individual staff on a strictly need-to-know basis, after consultation with the applicant.

Resources and contacts

York St John regards transphobic abuse, bullying and harassment as hate crime. It will be dealt with under the relevant disciplinary procedures, and we offer support and advice to individuals and groups. If you have experienced or witnessed a transphobic incident, please report it. Please follow the links for more information about our policies, support and reporting.

Resources and contacts

York St John respects the confidentiality of all trans staff and students, and will not reveal information about their trans status without the prior written agreement of the individual (usually an email). It is good professional practice to keep a record of conversations which will cover how information is shared with others. If you are concerned about contacting a generic email address (for example, the Admissions team), you can contact our dedicated person in Student Services, Student Records or HR Department. All personal information gathered by the University relating to students and staff is treated with the care and confidentiality required by the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018. York St John keeps the information on a system that will only give access to the people who need it for their work. To find out about our approach to data protection, please visit the Data Protection page. See also ‘Monitoring’ in this guide.

Resources and contacts

Some of our courses and positions require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The Disclosure and Barring Service has a sensitive applications team if you do not want to reveal details of your previous identity.

Resources and contacts

Degree/Award certificates will be issued in the official name on the student record. Alumni who change their official name to reflect their self-identified gender can contact Registry to discuss a request for a new certificate or transcripts. We would usually not charge for this. They will need to provide legal proof of a name change. However anyone who started their degree before 2006 needs to contact the University of Leeds for the certificate. Please read section 14 of the Protocol: Trans students and Student Records.

Resources and contacts

York St John does not have a gendered dress code. Individuals can choose to dress in a way that confirms with their gender identity.

We recognise that some trans students may face financial difficulties due to family breakdowns or additional costs of transitioning. The Student Funding Advice Team are here to support you with issues around funding, including applying to the York St John Hardship Fund. Alternatively, contact our dedicated person for trans students. Staff can access advice and support by Care First, including a debt/financial support helpline.

Resources and contacts

York St John recognises the right of individuals to self-identify their gender (male, female, nonbinary, self-described). We aim to only request information about gender (and title) if this is required and where possible allow people to self-describe. However, we are limited by our statutory obligations which mean that sometimes we can only ask about ‘legal sex’ (the sex registered on your birth certificate or passport) or binary gender (male/female).

If you are receiving medical assistance because of gender reassignment, then you may find that this affects your ability to study or work. Students who are aware that they will not be able to sit an exam on a certain day due to a medical appointment related to gender reassignment, should contact the assessment team as soon as possible to notify them. Where possible, they will avoid scheduling exam(s) on that day. The University has procedures that recognise that students and staff may Page 4 of 8 require time off study or work. Students may be able to use the exceptional circumstances procedure if this time off interferes with your ability to complete assessed work, or attend an examination. Suspension of studies may be available but it is important that you understand the financial implications that this might have. Students are strongly advised to speak to the Subject Director about the options available. Staff are expected to discuss taking time off with their line manager, or contact HR if they prefer.

Resources and contacts

It is never appropriate to ask a trans person for a GRC and regarded as unlawful because it breaches their right to privacy, however a person may choose to use their GRC as evidence of their identity. Where requirements apply, the University can ask an employee to see official documentation (e.g. a passport, driving licence or a new birth certificate) as evidence of change to ‘legal sex’. Once a person has obtained a GRC their gender history can only be disclosed where there are explicit exceptions in law.

Graduation in the Minster is a wonderful occasion where we celebrate the academic achievements of our students. Your official name will be included in the graduation programme book and on the degree certificate. A request to change your official name needs to be submitted before the final Exam Board (dates vary, please contact Registry). If you would like your ‘known as’ name to be read out when you cross the stage, please inform Registry when they send out their Graduation invitations.

Resources and contacts

We offer access to health and wellbeing services. For medical-related issues, you can contact our health services. Our Student Health Centre has acquired the Pride in Practice award, to improve LGBT patients’ experiences. Staff can access support with health through our employee assistance programme (Care First). Referral to Occupational Health for staff is usually through the line manager, however you can also contact the HR Business Partner directly.

Resources and contacts

We provide student housing. Some accommodation is open for people of all genders; other accommodation is single-gender (male/female). The toilets and showers in all accommodation areas Page 5 of 8 are gender-neutral. An individual’s gender identity can be taken into consideration when they are allocated accommodation. If a person is transitioning, or intending to transition, mixed-gender accommodation should be offered to them. Trans students should also be given the option of living in a single-sex flat of the gender they identify with e.g. a trans woman in an all women flat. Our accommodation team will liaise with individuals and take a flexible approach to ensure everyone is comfortable with their allocated accommodation. If you have specific requirements, please contact the Accommodation team.

Resources and contacts

  • Email the accommodation team on accommodation@yorksj.ac.uk

I to Z

The UK government specifies the type of identification both students and staff are required to present during enrolment or on commencement of post. This is a passport, visa or birth certificate combined with other forms of identification. If you require privacy for a reason related to transgender identity, you can request a private appointment with Student Records or Human Resources to show the identification. If we require identification for other purposes, you can provide more types of official identification, e.g. a driving licence. Requiring a gender recognition certificate (GRC) as proof of new identity is against the law. However an individual may choose to use their GRC as evidence of their identity.

Although intersex is not the same as transgender, this guide may be helpful.

Resources and contacts

Trans status and gender reassignment are ‘sensitive’ data under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018, and cannot be recorded or passed on to another person unless specific conditions under the Act are met. During student enrolment and staff recruitment we collect information from our students and staff about their protected characteristics, including trans status. These data are highly secured and no unauthorised access can be given. See also ‘confidentiality’.

Resources and contacts

The Student ID card is used as a library and IT card, and for identification in formal occasions such as exams. Students who change their ‘known as’ name or whose gender presentation differs from the photo, can request a reprint from Student Records. For course-specific name badges/ID, please Page 6 of 8 contact the School Administration Unit or the dedicated student support person. Replacement badges will then be provided at no charge.

Resources and contacts

Did you know that you can change your 'known as' name at any time? If you wish to change your 'official' name then you will need to show proof of name change. Please check the protocol for details. The University is trialling an approach whereby trans students can change their official name for the duration of study without proof of name change. When you request a name change, then you will be invited to take part in the trial. The University aims to use the known as name in all situations except when there is a requirement to use the official name (for instance, on certificates or for HMRC). Members of staff accessing your student or staff record will be able to see the official as well as the known as name. However access to your record is limited and members of staff are bound by data protection rules. When you change your name and gender, you may need to notify other organisations, e.g. bank, funder, utility company. This will help ensure that your name and gender match on information provided to and by the University.

Resources and contacts

 

York St John University has an Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement, supplemented by the Trans Equality Policy. Other policies and guidance exist to promote trans equality and inclusion, and to tackle bullying and harassment, such as the Dignity at Work Policy.

Resources and contacts

We do not have a formal process to record pronouns used by individuals. However we can offer assistance so that staff and students use the correct pronoun. Our policies and forms should use the neutral pronoun of ‘they’.

We recognise that going abroad for study or work may pose challenges and concerns for trans students and staff, and this needs to be considered in risk assessments. As a Stonewall Global Diversity Champion, we have access to a range of resources that enable us to better support our students and staff going abroad for study or work, and our International Students at York St John. Our Study Abroad and Exchange team will be happy to discuss any potential issues that may arise.

Resources and contacts

The LGBT Staff Network is an award-winning, inclusive network giving voice and visibility to LGBT people and their issues. Details of local peer support are available on the Yorkshire Mesmac website. If you need support with representation, you may seek this from a recognised Trade Union.

Resources and contacts

The LGBTQ+ Society is an inclusive, mixed gender Society offering students the opportunity to get together and to raise awareness. Details of local peer support are available on the Yorkshire Mesmac website. If you need support with representation, you may seek this from the Students’ Union.

Resources and contacts

Our main systems include the option ‘Mx’ as a title. If we ask for a title in our forms, then we plan to include the option ‘Mx’ which is gender neutral.

Many of our toilets and changing facilities on our campus are gender-specific, i.e. female or male. Gender-neutral toilets can be found at the entrance from the access road to the dining hall in Holgate and in the Students’ Union. All accessible toilets and single toilet cubicles are genderneutral. There is a gender-neutral accessible toilet and shower by the Foss sports hall. All toilets in the Glasshouse Yard (London Campus) are gender-neutral. While many students and staff use the one that best matches their self-identified gender, we recognise that some trans individuals prefer to use gender-neutral facilities. Page 8 of 8 Sanitary bins are provided in all gender-neutral toilets as well as female toilets. They are also available in at least one cubicle in the male toilets around campus. Signs will indicate where the units are once you are in the toilets. Sanitary product vending machines are in some female washrooms in the main University buildings, and in the Students’ Union. We consider the provision of appropriate facilities in estate development.

Resources and contacts

  • Campus Map (click on a building to find information about gender-neutral toilets)

York St John offers training to raise awareness of trans issues and how to support colleagues and students. All staff are required to complete online training on equality and diversity, and on unconscious bias. Additionally, trans equality is covered by recruitment and selection training and other relevant training. We also offer an e-learning module, trans awareness sessions, and further resources to staff and students. Please contact Staff Development if you wish to attend trans awareness training. Our ‘Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender Staff at Work Guidance’ helps managers to develop a better understanding of the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities and provide guidance to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) colleagues in their role as a manager as well as to create an inclusive team, performing at its best. Training and further resources are available for managers and colleagues.

Resources and contacts

We recognise that individuals studying or working at York St John may start, or be in the process of, transitioning on order to live in the gender they identify as. Our protocols and checklists provide more information about support with transitioning. York St John has a dedicated contact person to offer support and information to our trans students. Staff can contact their HR Business Partner.

Resources and contacts

Students and staff can access wellbeing support through Student Services and counselling through Care First respectively. The services provide a space for trans people to talk through any concerns they have and will either be able to offer support or signpost you to specialist support in the community.

Resources and contacts

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