Protest over gender neutral school uniform in Lewes – in pictures
Students of Priory School in Lewes have staged a protest outside the school gates this morning over changes to their school uniform.
All students at the school in Mountfield Road must now wear a school polo shirt, school jumper and trousers. The new uniform has been designed specifically in response to the many issues and suggestions raised by parents, students and school staff, the school said. However, furious students are demanding that they have a right to choose whether they wish to wear a skirt or trousers. A spokesman for the school said: "Priory School uniform is designed to be a practical uniform which encourages students to be ready to focus on their school work and activities. Our uniform also helps us to dilute the status placed on expensive clothes or labels and challenge the belief that we are defined by what we wear. Instead, we encourage individual beliefs, ideas, passions and well-being and an ethos of camaraderie that is reflected in this shared experience. We believe that a uniform worn without modification is the best way to ensure equality. We do not want children feeling vulnerable and stressed by the pressure they feel to wear or own the latest trend or status symbol. Priory school is not unusual in having a trousers as the uniform item for all students. There are at least 40 other schools which have a similar uniform requirement. Our core purpose remains the quality of teaching and learning and we aim to achieve this by maximising the time spent on planning, delivering and evaluating the quality of provision."