A school has asked boys to wear skirts instead of shorts if they find trousers too hot to wear in the summer months as part of a ‘gender-neutral’ uniform policy.
Chiltern Edge Secondary School in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire has introduced a ‘more formal’ uniform policy which allows the students to wear either trousers or skirts.
So, the boys who don’t want to wear trousers in the hot weather are bound to don skirts instead of shorts.
The decision came after several schools adopted gender-neutral policies for helping transgender students feel more comfortable in the schools. Schools are supposed to protect transgenders from discrimination under the Equality Act.
The new policy was not welcomed by the parents of boys. Parent Alastair Vince-Porteous asked the school management if his son could wear tailored shorts but they refused to allow anything that wasn’t part of the uniform because the uniform policy was ‘gender-neutral.’
Vince said: ‘I was told shorts are not part of the uniform. It’s a shame we can’t be more grown up about it, we aren’t asking for ra-ra skirts or skinny jeans, just grey tailored shorts for two months a year, it’s not a big deal.
‘I know that in the past other schools have worn skirts so I asked if my son was able to do that – and the school said yes.’
Another parent Joanne Muday said: ‘It’s nuts to make the kids wear blazers and ties when it gets very hot.’
The new uniform policy was introduced after Ofsted branded the school to be inadequate. The school had only 507 students in January last year while having the capacity for 900 pupils. Now, the school will become an academy by joining the Maiden Erlegh Trust.
Headteacher Moira Green said: ‘In September 2017, with the support of parents, Chiltern Edge made the decision to move to a more formal uniform. This has been a success. Maiden Erlegh Trust, in preparation for September 2018, wholeheartedly support Chiltern Edge’s adoption of a more formal uniform.’