COUNTY NEWS: School bans skirts saying uniform should be ‘gender neutral’

Students at Priory School in Lewes have a new 'gender neutral' uniform rule. Photo credit: Brighton Argus/Solent News and Photo Agency.
Students at Priory School in Lewes have a new 'gender neutral' uniform rule. Photo credit: Brighton Argus/Solent News and Photo Agency.

A Lewes senior school’s decision to ban female pupils from wearing skirts has hit the national headlines.

On the website of Priory School in Lewes a statement reads: “From September 2017, all new students 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.”

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.”