Schools in Wales have been instructed by the government to offer their students gender neutral uniforms. The new guidelines will give students the freedom to choose which uniform items they wish to wear, as opposed to girls being required to wear skirts and boys being required to wear trousers.
The new legislation will go into effect at the start of the academic year in September. The Welsh government states that schools should not have different requirements regarding the uniforms for boys and girls. Now, students will be able to choose the uniform they feel most comfortable in.
The government gave the following warning in a statement: “failure to allow a pupil to wear uniform that reflects their gender identity may constitute discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment under the Equality Act.” However, the policy does allow certain exceptions for religious schools. This is because a certain religion may lay down different dress and appearance codes for different sexes.
Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said: “We should not be enforcing outdated ideas of what clothes are suitable for their gender, especially if it makes them wear something they feel uncomfortable wearing. This new guidance makes clear that school uniform policies should not dictate items of clothing based on gender.”