Schools

DfE removes trans charity Mermaids from school wellbeing resources

Department said move was precautionary amid ongoing investigation into safeguarding allegations

Department said move was precautionary amid ongoing investigation into safeguarding allegations

The Department for Education has removed transgender rights charity Mermaids from its mental health and wellbeing resources for schools.

It follows the Charity Commission launching a regulatory compliance probe after “concerns had been raised” about the charity’s “approach to safeguarding young people”.

The Telegraph reported the charity was “handing out potentially harmful breast binders to girls as young as 13 behind their parents’ backs”.

The Times also reported this month that a Mermaids trustee resigned after reports he had spoke at a conference hosted by an organisation promoting services to paedophiles.

Today, DfE removed a reference to the Mermaids advice line from its list of mental health and wellbeing resources for schools or those working with children and young people.

It previously said Mermaids offered a “free and confidential phone and web-chat services which has been designed specifically to support trans, gender-diverse and non-binary students” aged 18 to 25.

DfE said they removed it as a precautionary measure following the ongoing investigation by The Charity Commission.

In a statement, Mermaids said it is closing its helpline service from tomorrow to give staff “respite” from “unacceptable abuse”.

Mermaids said its services “that have benefited thousands of people will continue” and that it is “in the midst of a targeted, cynical attack”.

The opening of a compliance case is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing, but is the first step the charity commission can take in examining potential wrongdoing.

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