Private school in London may allow boys to wear skirts

16 May 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

A private school in north London may approve a plan for gender neutral uniforms, allowing boys to wear skirts.

The Highgate school, which charges pupils nearly Rs. 5.6 lakh per term, is considering mix-and-match outfits for pupils after senior teachers pointed out that more student started questioning their gender.

The school is also being encouraged to open unisex toilets.

In context: Of gender neutral schools and uniforms!

ExplainedWhat does being gender neutral mean?

Gender neutral is anything that isn't defined based on gender.

For example, this could be by not saying gender-specific pronouns like "he" or "she," rejecting gender-based stereotypes such as "blue is for boys and pink is for girls" or having unisex-bathrooms.

Gender neutral people identify themselves with a gender of their choice or no gender, and not necessarily the one they are born into.

An exampleHow gender neutral schools work

A good example of a gender neutral school is Green Meadow Waldorf School in New York.

The school allows male and female students to change in their respective locker rooms, but also has an optional gender neutral one.

All children can learn to knit and sew and play any sport.

Children of both genders also compete in sporting events together.

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Around 1% of the British population faces gender identity issues

Last year, 2,700 children or adolescents sought medical treatment in the UK for gender identity issues, a Guardian study revealed. Besides these, several other students expressed their discomfort over dressing and behaving as per the gender they were born to.

16 May 2017Private school in London may allow boys to wear skirts

120 UK schools adopt gender neutral uniform policy

At least 120 schools in the UK have adopted a gender neutral uniform policy, according to LGBT training charity Educate & Celebrate. The schools will let both boys and girls wear skirts or trousers, or institute a unisex uniform.

Why?"Good thing" if students dress as per gender of choice

School head Adam Pettitt said, "we are seeing greater numbers of pupils questioning gender identity than in the past."

"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."

It would be a "good thing" if students can "feel happier and more secure in who they are."

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Female students are allowed to wear trousers

Female students at the school are allowed to wear grey trousers, dark blue jackets and ties. However, male students can't wear grey pleated skirts, which the new proposed dress code would allow. The school has been urged to keep all sports open to all students.

Wrong ideas?Some ex-student said school was 'promoting wrong ideas'

Pettitt said before the changes are introduced, parents would be consulted.

He said the school received written complaints from some former students saying it was "promoting the wrong ideas."

On the other hand, student equality groups have urged teachers to use gender neutral speech codes which include a ban on phrases such as "man up."