A school has changed its policy over its toilets after concerns were raised about a transgender pupil being told she was not allowed to use the girls loos.

King Edmund School, in Vaughn Close, Rochford, has announced that students will now be able to use toilets that “match their gender identity” after concerns were raised by transgender support group Transpire on behalf of a pupil.

Transpire, a group set up to support transgender people in Southend and the surrounding area, said they were contacted by a student with concerns.

A spokesman said: “We raised a concern on behalf of trans students who were experiencing issues regarding toilet use at King Edmund School.

“The school listened and put changes in place. Its just really about communities working together.

“We’re pleased the school listened and made the changes in place to support their students.

“For Transpire it was about raising awareness, and ensuring the school were complying with equality laws which they seem to be doing.

“We are pleased our concerns have been listened to and swiftly acted on.

“We’re always willing to work with such organisations that show flexibility and openness to change. Everyone wins.”

The community has been wholly supportive of the school’s decision to support their students in this way.

Rochford parish councillor Arthur Williams said on Facebook: “Not that long ago it was a crime to be homosexual.

“We have come a long way in a relatively short time.

“I do find that these young people are far more understanding and sympathetic than some of the older generation.

“We should be proud of them.”

Southend Labour campaigner Ashley Dalton also congratulated the school on Twitter and said: “I’m delighted King Edmund School has made provision for all students.

“Trans students have as much right to be catered for as everyone else.

“Other schools in the area provide gender neutral toilets as well as gender designated toilets so everyone can choose.”

Headteacher Jonathan Osborn told the BBC that King Edmund School believes “everyone has the right to feel comfortable” in order to “achieve the very best they can”.

He said that the school always discusses “individual needs with each of the small number of transgender students it has” and has sought to put in place agreed toilet provision.

He added that “because of what the school stands for and the rights written into equality law, the school made the decision to allow transgender students to use a toilet that matches their identified gender”.

Transpire is a non-profit community group which supports transgender persons, their friends and family and the wider community in the Southend and surrounding areas.

The group was formally constituted by its voluntary members in June 2016.

To find out more information about the work Transpire does, visit http://transpiresouthend.org/