School may let boys wear skirts

If all goes according to plan for gender neutral uniforms, boys could be allowed to wear skirts at a London private school.

Highgate School is considering mix-and-match outfits for pupils after head teachers said that growing numbers of children were questioning their gender.

The school, which charges up to €7,900 per term, has also been encouraged to allow unisex toilets and open all sports to all pupils.

Girls at the school can wear grey trousers, dark blue jackets and ties.

But boys are not currently allowed to wear grey pleated skirts, although this may change under the new proposed dress code.

Head teacher Adam Pettitt said the issue of a gender neutral uniform had come up during question and answer sessions with his A-Level students.

This generation of young people was really questioning the binary way people look at things, he said.

“We’re therefore exploring how our uniform policy could evolve to cater for those who do want to match clothing to gender, as well as those who don’t.”

“The fact that there is significantly greater support and information available, both in schools and elsewhere, means that young people need no longer feel afraid to ask questions or speak out about their feelings.

“If they feel happier and more secure in who they are, it must be a good thing,” he said.

Co-educational independent boarding school Brighton College, where Mr Pettitt is a governor, has introduced a similarly gender neutral uniform.

Student equality groups have called for teachers to observe gender neutral speech codes and for a ban on phrases such as “man up”.

Figures also show a sharp rise in the number of young people seeking help to change gender.

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