An elite private school in the UK is set to establish a new gender-neutral uniform policy that will allow male students to wear skirts.
North London’s Highgate School decided to make the change to better support its gender non-binary, transgender and gender-nonconforming students.
The current dress code allows female students to wear pants, trousers and blazers, but doesn’t allow boys to wear the school’s standard pleated skirt. Under the new policy, students will be permitted to wear whatever article of clothing from the uniform set that they wish.
“This generation is really questioning being binary in the way we look at things,” headteacher Adam Pettitt told The Times.
While the school has faced some backlash from anti-LGBT groups across the country, Pettitt and the rest of the staff are remaining committed to letting their students express themselves in whatever ways make them happiest.
“[Some people] write in and say, if you left children to their own devices they would grow up differently and you are promoting the wrong ideas,” he said. “[But], if [students can] feel happier and more secure in who they are, it must be a good thing.”
He concluded: “We will need to become understanding of what is a sensible reaction to this at different ages.”
In 2016, over 80 state schools across the UK adopted gender-neutral dress codes, with some institutions designing all new uniforms and others merely dropping gendered language to describe the clothing.
Earlier this year, an LGBT-friendly school in Sydney announced that its dress code would no longer be gender-specific, with boys free to wear skirts and girls welcome to wear shorts or trousers.