A leading private school in the UK has made a change to its uniform policy in order to make trans students feel more welcome.
Brighton College, which takes students from the age of eight, is removing gendered uniform roles, to accommodate for gender non-conforming and trans students.
The school will now allow any student the option to wear a skirt, blouse and bolero or trousers, a shirt, tie and blazer.
In a statement, the school said it was “reacting to a changing society which recognises that some children have gender dysphoria and do not wish to lose their emotional gender identities at school. [Private] schools are usually seen as bastions of conservatism but Brighton College feels it is time to break ranks.”
The school’s Gender Society helped to lead the push for the recognition of gender dysphoria, and a need to address trans issues.
The Guardian reports that Amy Arnell, 18 and Lilya Tata, 17, set up the society.
The headmaster said: “It ties in with my strong personal belief that youngsters should be respected for who they are. If some boys and girls are happier identifying with a different gender from that in which they were born, then my job is to make sure that we accommodate that. My only interest as headmaster is their welfare and happiness.”
Arnell told The Telegraph: “When the headmaster announced [the changes to uniform codes], no one was really surprised – there is just no reason not to do it if it makes people feel more comfortable about themselves.”
Since the announcement some students who formerly wore the skirt have opted to wear trousers, but only one who previously wore the trousers had shown an interest in wearing a skirt.