NATIONAL: School bans skirts and brings in ‘gender-neutral’ uniform

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From left, Cowplain School Year 11 prefects Cerys Gamlin, Eleanor Weeks, Ellie Otton and Helena Tuch organised a Bush Tucker trial to raise money for charity

Cowplain pupils do Bush Tucker trial for teenager Beth

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A SECONDARY school has banned girls from wearing skirts to make the uniform ‘gender-neutral’ for transgender pupils and to deal with complaints over the decency of short skirts.

Headteacher Tony Smith has introduced the policy for all new students at Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex.

The school’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.’

Speaking to the Brighton Argus, Mr 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.’

He added that there had been ‘problems with decency’ over how skirts were being worn by students.

One mother critical of the changes told the local newspaper: ‘My daughter said she has got a gender and it’s female so being gender neutral when she has got a gender is a big deal for her, as she is proud to be a girl.’