Matthew Rogers

Gender options on the ILR


Good morning,


Is anyone aware of a plan to introduce additional gender options on the ILR which is currently only male and female?


Thanks in advance,



No one has replied to this post.

Martin West

No, see the following note from the ILR Specifications.

We understand there is interest to be able to receive protected characteristics of learners such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability (LLDD), SEN, marital status, religion, paternity/ maternity leave etc. We don’t have an operational use for these characteristics centrally that justifies increasing the burden on the administrative collection. We therefore only collect LLDD, ethnicity and historically sex within further education data.

Whilst we understand the importance of the other characteristics mentioned being used to understand the balance of learners/ apprentices, our policy has always been not to collect such data. This is as the onus of the collection lies upon the learning providers, FE colleges and employers to collect this information as well as take informed action based on the data such as putting in place reasonable adjustment, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Furthermore, our data collection system for FE (ILR) is an administrative data collection system with it’s primary purpose being a funding data collection for providers. Asking for extra items would also burden providers in extending their collection and adapting their system to meet these requirements.

Steve Hewitt

Which is an awful cop-out OF COURSE.

I've been campaigning for this for several years now to little affect, sadly.

What is interesting is this employment tribunal case:

Which confirms that non-binary people are covered by the Equality Act. My fear is that ESFA is leaving providers open to litigation as, if a non-binary person refuses to tick M or F, the provider is unable to claim funding for that learner, and therefore, if they charge them for the course (because funding isn't available) it's *clearly* discriminatory...

At this point, I'd take "sex" being made non-mandatory to avoid this issue, even if the dream is a third (or more!) values in the field...