London: As many as 80 schools in the UK have introduced “gender neutral” uniforms, allowing boys to wear skirts and girls don trousers if they prefer, as part of Britain’s new government-funded drive for educational institutions to be more sensitive to “trans” children.
The schools have either dropped references to girls and boys in their dress codes or have rewritten their uniform policy to say that pupils as young as five can dress in the uniform in which they feel most comfortable, The Sunday Times reported.
It is part of a new UK government-funded drive for schools to be more sensitive to “trans” children who are questioning their gender identity. Around 80 state-run schools have introduced the “gender neutral” uniform policies. Diversity campaigners have warned schools that current policies risk discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pupils (LGBT).
Brighton College, a leading independent school, announced a transgender-friendly uniform code earlier this year. Some Christian organisations in the country have raised concerns that introducing a choice of uniform could confuse young children and lead older pupils to question their identities at a time when they need reassurance.
Allens Croft School in Birmingham is believed to be the first state primary to declare that it has a “gender neutral” uniform. Under the rules, which are the same for both sexes, boys can wear a grey or black skirt or pinafore while girls can wear grey or black trousers.
“At Allens Croft, we aim to promote each child’s right to express their gender and personality in whichever way feels right for them. “To support this aim, our uniform policy is gender neutral. This means that whilst we expect all of our children to wear school uniform, the rules for boys and girls are the same and we do not insist that they wear specific items of clothing,” the policy stated.