UK schools allow boys to wear skirts as uniform
Eighty state schools are changing their uniform policy to take advantage of a government funded 'gender neutral' dress code.
References to gender have either been dropped by uniform policies, or they have been completely rewritten to allow boys as young as five to wear skirts. The move is a result of pressure from LGBT activists, who warned that uniform policies 'discriminate' against children who are questioning their gender.
Chief Executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, said that "we are increasingly seeing boundaries overstepped".
'Whichever way feels right'
Allens Croft School, in Birmingham, is believed to be the first primary school to announce that it has a "gender neutral" uniform. Boys at the school can wear a grey or black skirt or pinafore, while girls can wear grey or black trousers.
The policy states: "At Allens Croft we aim to promote each child’s right to express their gender and personality in whichever way feels right for them.
"To support this aim, our uniform policy is gender neutral. This means that whilst we expect all of our children to wear school uniform, the rules for boys and girls are the same and we do not insist that they wear specific items of clothing."
The school's head teacher, Paula Weaver, said: "Everybody has the right to be themselves — that was the impetus for it. We do lots of work through literature and drama and we talk to children about the fact that we have someone who was assigned male at birth who is saying 'I'm a girl'. It's about being open with them and about everyone feeling OK."
Government funding for LGBT agenda
Allens Croft is designated a 'best practice school' by the LGBT group Educate and Celebrate, which has £200,000 in government funding to give school staff across the country training to be more LGBT-inclusive.
So far, 40 primary and 40 secondary schools have adopted gender neutral uniform policy as part of being 'best practice' schools.
Elly Barnes, the head of Educate and Celebrate, claimed: "In some schools, when I have the initial staff meeting and talk about gender-neutral uniforms, the reaction is 'We can't do it, parents won't like it'. But as soon as they do it, they find out there is absolutely no difference."
Andrea Williams said, however, that this policy is a result of a radical agenda being imposed on young, impressionable minds.
"We are increasingly seeing boundaries being overstepped.
"Children at the age of five years old need to be reassured and supported if they experience feelings of confusion about their gender. The solution is not to encourage their confusion but to affirm their identity which is God-given. This policy will only serve to introduce unnecessary questioning and doubt to pupils who may have never otherwise experienced such feelings.
Help children deal with reality
On Radio 4 this morning, the head teacher of Parson Street primary in Bristol, Jamie Barry, was asked by the presenter how many children he had come across throughout his career who had experienced gender confusion. He answered that he had not come across any.
Andrea Williams, who was also interviewed, said that we must deal with the "reality of the situation", which is that a radical agenda is being imposed that could be "harmful" for children.
Educators, she said, should "look after" children, and "help them to deal with what is – their reality - they are born male or female and to actually celebrate that wonderful difference".
Listen to Andrea Williams discuss 'gender neutral' uniform policies on BBC Radio 4's Today
Andrea Williams says it is perpetrating an unkind lie to encourage 'gender neutrality' on LBC Radio
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New school rules let boys wear skirts (Times £)