In an effort to be more gender neutral, school girls across England have been asked to wear trousers and not skirts. With revised school uniform policies, number of schools in England are moving towards a ‘no-skirt’ rule for pupils. Reportedly, one of the institute, Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex have made the move last year after pupils questioned why boys and girls should have to wear different attire. It stressed to ensure the transgender students to feel more comfortable in schools. Now, in support of this context, reports suggest that about 40 secondary schools in England have banned girls from wearing skirts and wear only trousers.
The research led by The Times showed a number of other schools consulting on the ban. While few institutions have concentrated on ‘trousers only’, Copleston High School, Ipswich, feature skirts on a list of unacceptable items of clothing alongside, “skinny jeans and facial piercings” and all the pupils are instructed to wear “plain grey trousers.” The study further reveals that in the same town about 8 secondary schools are following the gender-neutral uniform policy.
However, the switch to trousers at Woodhey High School, in Bury, appears to be for different reasons. Skirts in this school have been categorized ‘undignified and embarrassing’ when girls sit on the floor for assembly and in drama classes. In Bradford, schools with a high proportion of Muslim students, does not allow skirts on modesty grounds. Taking a note on such initiatives, some people are arguing that rather than forcing all pupils to wear trousers, students should have the option of wearing skirts or trousers, despite of their gender.
Last month, a secondary school in Oxfordshire banned boys from wearing shorts in summers but allowed them to wear skirts if they wish. In Japan too, an increasing number of schools are introducing unisex uniforms or flexible codes to support transgender students while encouraging boys to wear skirts of they wish.