Primary school in Ireland introduces gender-neutral uniform policy

World

06 Jul 2019

Boys can wear skirts as Irish school introduces gender-neutral uniforms

While most schools across the world where uniforms are mandatory, have strict guidelines conforming to gender roles, a primary school in County Wicklow, Ireland, will soon introduce a gender-neutral uniform policy.

The St Brigid's National School, located in the coastal town Greystones, said it wants to be inclusive of students questioning their gender identity.

The policy will come into effect from September.

Details

Most important thing is children should feel comfortable: Principal

Most important thing is children should feel comfortable: Principal

"We have children who are questioning their sexual identity. It's happening at an earlier age," the principal of the school, Máire Costello, told Irish Times.

Costello added, "If that means girls wearing trousers or boys wearing skirts, so be it. The most important thing is children should feel comfortable and happy over how they're dressed."

Toilets would also be made gender-neutral at the school.

Uniform

Uniform includes pinafore, grey trousers, green cardigan

The current uniform of the St Brigid's National School includes a green tartan pinafore (a collarless, sleeveless dress), grey trousers, a green crested cardigan, and jumper.

As per the old policy, only the girls were allowed to wear the pinafore, and the boys were restricted to wearing the trousers and a green jumper.

From September, students of all genders can wear pinafore or trousers.

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Lot of work to be done, states trans rights NGO

"There are some great schools, including Catholic ones, and some terrible ones... it takes leadership and a common sense, human rights-based approach to ensure all children feel welcome," said, Sara Phillips, chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland, adding there's "still a lot of work to be done."

Admin

Making even one student feel more comfortable matters: School Board

Making even one student feel more comfortable matters: School Board

Meanwhile, Tom Sherlock, chairperson of school's board of management, told Independent that although some people opposed the move, mainly parents have been "hugely supportive" and making "even one student feel more comfortable" matters.

Separately, Costello said that the change was brought forth by the student council of St Brigid's National School and was then approved by parents and the school's board of management.

Ireland's Department of Education issued guidelines to support trans students

Back in 2016, in a report published by the Department of Education of Ireland, guidelines on how schools could support LGBTQ+ students were listed. One of the guidelines directed that students "should be permitted to wear a uniform that is consistent with their gender identity."

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Most asked questions

Where is this school located?

What is the school's uniform?

Why was this policy introduced?

When will this policy be enforced?

More questions

Where is this school located?

Asked 2019-07-06 00:20:24 by Surabhi Mittal

Answered by NewsBytes

The St Brigid's National School is located in in the coastal town Greystones in Ireland.

What is the school's uniform?

Asked 2019-07-06 00:20:24 by Hemant Kapoor

Answered by NewsBytes

The current uniform of the St Brigid's National School includes a green tartan pinafore (a collarless, sleeveless dress), grey trousers, a green crested cardigan and jumper.

Why was this policy introduced?

Asked 2019-07-06 00:20:24 by Pari Shah

Answered by NewsBytes

The gender-neutral uniform policy at St Brigid's National School was introduced to be more inclusive of students of other gender identities.

When will this policy be enforced?

Asked 2019-07-06 00:20:24 by Aradhya Lobo

Answered by NewsBytes

The gender-neutral uniform policy at St Brigid's National School will be enforced from September this year.

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