HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is releasing new guidelines to help school boards protect transgender students from discrimination.

The guidelines recommend using a student's preferred name and pronoun, providing gender-neutral washrooms and ensuring access to physical education classes for all students.

Education Minister Karen Casey says the measures are meant to make schools safe, respectful and supportive of transgender students.

She says they complement amendments made to the province's Human Rights Act in 2012 that were also aimed at combatting discrimination.

The Education Department, members of school boards, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Human Rights Commission and the Youth Project, a non-profit charitable organization, developed the guidelines.

The department says a plan for transphobic incidents will also be developed.