Maria Caulfield, the local MP, describes it as “political correctness gone mad” and it’s hard to disagree. The Priory School, a co-ed comprehensive in Lewes, turned children away at the school gate earlier this week because they weren’t wearing the new “gender neutral” uniform.
Teenage girls turned up in skirts instead of the regulation grey trousers and the school’s headteacher had to enlist two community police officers to prevent them going to lessons. This may be the first time a school has called in the authorities to enforce non-attendance.
The school justified its new policy by claiming the new uniform will “address inequality”. You might think it would be simpler to keep separate boys’ and girls’ uniforms and allow the children to wear whichever one they feel most comfortable in. That’s the approach taken by some schools. But apparently that wasn’t sufficiently egalitarian for the Priory.
Not all the pupils share this ultra-liberal zeal. A petition started by a year 11 student objecting to the new policy has attracted 386 signatures. Female students protesting outside the school held up banners that read “choice” and several boys turned up wearing skirts to express their solidarity. Or perhaps just to have a laugh. (To read more, click here.)