UK: Secondary school makes uniform gender neutral

A secondary school has ordered girls to wear trousers to make the uniform gender neutral and to deal with complaints over the decency of short skirts.

Instead of wearing a grey skirt, girls starting at the Priory school in Lewes, East Sussex, this month must wear grey trousers.

The policy was introduced for all students by the school’s headteacher, Tony Smith, to ensure transgender pupils felt included.

The comprehensive’s website states: “From September 2017, all new Priory students will be required to wear our updated uniform. This uniform has been designed specifically in response to the many issues and suggestions raised by parents, students and school staff.

“Specifically, it addresses the current issues of inequality and decency. We hope that it will provide a smart, comfortable and affordable alternative to the current uniform.”

Grey trousers worn by all pupils must be “formal, suit-like trousers – no fashion trousers, chinos, jeans nor cargo pants”. Shoes must be “totally black, flat shoes (not boots) with no additional colour whatsoever, eg: no coloured panels, stitching, laces, logos, eyelets or other embellishments”.

Speaking to the Brighton Argus newspaper, Smith said: “Pupils have been saying why do boys have to wear ties and girls don’t, and girls have different uniform to boys. So we decided to have the same uniform for everybody from year 7. Another issue was that we have a small but increasing number of transgender students and therefore having the same uniform is important for them.” Read more via the Guardian