Lewes school introduces ‘gender neutral’ uniform rule

Students and Priory School will now all be expected to wear trousers. Photo Credit: Brighton Argus/Solent News and Photo Agency
Students and Priory School will now all be expected to wear trousers. Photo Credit: Brighton Argus/Solent News and Photo Agency

The decision of a Lewes secondary school to ban female pupils from wearing skirts has hit the national headlines this week.

On the website of Priory School, Lewes a statement reads: “From September 2017, all newstudents will be required to wear our updated uniform. This uniform has been designed specifically in response to 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. The new update consists of shirt, tie, school jumper and trousers. This is a gender-neutral uniform to be worn by all students.”

Head teacher Tony Smith said he introduced the rule because of complaints over short skirts and to make the uniform gender neutral for transgender students.

He said: “Pupils have been saying why do boys have to wear ties and girls don’t? And why do girls have different uniforms from boys? We decided to have the same for everyone from year seven. Another issue was the small but increasing number of transgender students and therefore having the same uniform is important for them.”

Concerned parents swamped TV and newspaper newsdesks with complaints, describing it as ‘PC mad’ and ‘not giving girls the choice to wear skirts if they prefer to.’ One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “This is more to do with the length of girls’ skirts than ‘gender neutral.’ I don’t know why they just don’t come out and say so!”