Scottish school pupils could be told to wear gender neutral uniforms

A move to gender-neutral clothing could "improve classroom equality", Scottish Green spokesman Ross Greer said

Published

School pupils in Scotland could soon be told to wear gender neutral uniforms.

The Scottish Government, led by Nicola Sturgeon, has launched a consultation on school uniform fees, with a view to reducing costs.

The proposal is also looking to remove "unnecessary rules around what each gender should wear".

Parents, carers and pupils have been asked to submit their views in the exercise, which will run until October 14 as the Government looks to create national guidance on uniforms to reduce the financial burden.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on school uniform
The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on school uniform

The powersharing agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens following last year’s election included a commitment to putting the guidance in place.

Changes could include an increased use of generic items of clothing as part of uniforms.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “School uniform can promote a sense of identity, belonging and connectedness to school.

“However, the cost can be a significant burden for families, although there is no legal requirement to wear uniform.

“We have increased the school clothing grant to help families who need it most.

“Now we intend to go further by bringing forward national guidance aimed at reducing uniform costs. This could mean increasing the use of generic items of uniform.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest to have their say on how this guidance should look.

“It is essential that the views of children and young people are heard as part of this consultation.”

Scottish Green education spokesman Ross Greer said the guidance could also improve classroom equality, including “removing unnecessary rules around what each gender should wear, to ensuring appropriate options for religious clothing”.

He added: “School uniforms often place huge costs on families due to overly specific policies and too few suppliers, particularly at high school level.

“This new national guidance is an opportunity to let young people, parents and carers choose good value clothing which meets their school’s rules without needing to buy from expensive specialist retailers.”