A Norfolk school has been accused of teaching children "highly contested gender ideology" after it complained about comments made by a Tory parliamentary candidate in a hustings.

The Norfolk and Norwich Women's Rights Network has called on Thorpe St Andrew School to review its curriculum and wellbeing support following the fall-out from the event, which led to Nick Rose standing down as a Conservative candidate for Norwich North.

Norwich Evening News: Nick Rose (right) and Suella BravermanNick Rose (right) and Suella Braverman (Image: Nick Rose)

The Broad Horizons Trust, which represents the school, accused Mr Rose of making “inappropriate and incendiary" remarks during the Question Time-style debate.

He told an audience of sixth-form students: "A bloke wearing a dress who identifies as a woman should not be in a woman's prison and should not be allowed in women's toilets.

"How on earth can all of you ladies here allow a bloke in a skirt into your loos?"

One day later, after the school lodged a complaint with the Tory party, Mr Rose stood down as a candidate.

Ermine Amies, a spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Norwich Women's Rights Network, said that some comments made by Mr Rose - who also spoke of an "invasion" of illegal immigrants - were "correctly described as controversial".

However, she expressed concerns that the school may not be allowing an open debate on trans issues.

Norwich Evening News: The hustings took place at Thorpe St Andrew SchoolThe hustings took place at Thorpe St Andrew School (Image: Newsquest)

"It should not be considered controversial to state the simple truth that men have no place in women’s prisons — no matter how they may identify," she added.

"Nor should men be competing in women’s sport or accessing women’s refuges, leisure centre changing rooms or toilets.

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"We welcome debate on transgender ideology. But it is unfortunate that the school hasn't invited a woman with a better understanding of gender ideology and its negative impact on the rights and safety of women and girls to speak."

She also accused the school of not adopting a "safeguarding-first" approach - which prioritises the protection of children - when it comes to trans issues and raised concerns it had not heeded the findings of the interim Cass Review.

This official report - commissioned to investigate the way that gender-questioning children and teens are treated in the health service - called for a more evidence-based approach to the highly-contested issue.Norwich Evening News: Nick Rose stepped down as a candidate for Norwich North less than a month after being selectedNick Rose stepped down as a candidate for Norwich North less than a month after being selected (Image: Nick Rose)

Ms Amies also criticised the school's use of a charity called the Norfolk LGBT+ Project, which she accused of promoting practices she said were inappropriate for children.

She added: "We are very concerned that Norfolk schools including Thorpe St Andrews School are not using a safeguarding-first approach and are ignoring the interim Cass Review by using the Norfolk LGBT+ Project — which promotes breast binding and penis tucking to children.

"The Broad Horizons Education Trust must correct its policies to prevent sex and belief discrimination, review its PHSE (personal, social, health and economic) curriculum and wellbeing support and stop teaching highly contested gender identity ideology as fact," she added.

"Students, staff and parents must be able to state reality — that sex matters and people can’t change sex."

The Broad Horizons Education Trust and Norfolk LGBT+ Project declined to comment.