School uniforms have been a contentious topic in the past few weeks.
While one school saw boys wear skirts to protest a ‘no shorts’ policy, another has been criticised for its progressive new uniform rules.
Highgate School in north London has proposed a ‘gender-neutral’ uniform in which boys would be allowed to wear skirts if they choose.
Former alumni have hit back at the £20,000-a-year private school’s decision, calling the decision “deluded and disturbing.”
The Old Cholmeleian (OC) Society consisting of 6000 former students and teachers has set up a petition where people can state whether they are for or against the change.
In an email, a spokesperson said the society’s aim is to “mobilise as much opposition to this as possible”.
“This would be both deluded and disturbing for pupils at a formative and highly impressionable age, and also damaging to the reputation of the school,” the email continued.
Adam Pettit, the school’s headmaster, had hoped that “the great majority of those connected to Highgate, present and past, will see that we are adjusting in the light of current pupils’ and parents’ views, societal change and clinical advice.”
Highgate School has already allowed pupils to request that they are addressed by a name of the opposite gender. So far, around six students have done so.
One boy has also been allowed to wear a dress to school.
Mr Pettitt further defended the school’s decision to the Telegraph, saying “small changes to uniform and to language can make a huge difference” to children going through gender transition.
“We have been looking at the latest clinical advice on ways best to cater for the needs of transgender or gender-querying young people, as well as legislation brought in by the government to protect the rights of transgender people,” he commented.
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