School boys will be allowed to wear skirts and girls to wear trousers under new “gender neutral” uniform policies introduced across the UK.Eighty state institutions, including 40 primary schools, have either removed reference to girls and boys in their dress codes or have rewritten their uniform policy. It is part of a drive, funded by the government, for schools to be more open to children who are questioning their gender identity.
Allens Croft School in Birmingham is believed to be the first state primary to declare that it has a “gender neutral” uniform. The primary is designated a “best practice school” by the charity Educate and Celebrate, which has received more than £200,000 in funding from the Department for Education to give equality and diversity training to staff in schools across the country.
Julia Neal, chair of the ATL teaching union’s equality and diversity committee, said “gender identity prejudice” in education needs to be challenged. She added: “If there is gender fluidity they need to understand the importance of gender-neutral facilities. And they need to understand how pupils want to be referred to, as he or she. It’s a delicate area.”