HUNDREDS of students have signed a petition to stop a school from forcing all students to wear 'gender neutral' trousers.

Despite originally set up in 2017 as a bid to be "gender-neutral" for transitioning students, the policy at Priory School has been criticised by trans - and transphobic - campaigners.

Priory School in Lewes was also met with protests from parents and pupils for forcing all students - boys and girls - to wear a uniform of polo shirt, school jumper and trousers.

Students say they should all have the right to choose whether they wish to wear a skirt or trousers.

The petition is being supported by former pupil Piers Morgan who threatened to turn up outside the school gates wearing a skirt.

The Argus:

It read: "Forcing everyone to wear trousers is limiting choice, preventing people from having the ability to choose whether to wear a skirt or trousers and therefore preventing diversity.

"It is also very bad for the environment because the old uniforms have to be thrown away, wasting old cotton uniform. Fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change."

In 2017, when the policy was put in place, headteacher Anthony Smith said it was for a "small number" of students who identified as transgender at the school.

However, trans activists have said trans girls should also be allowed to wear skirts if they wish and trans boys should be able to wear trousers.


More than 400 people have signed the petition so far.

Comments on the petition also suggest the policy was put in place to stop girls from rolling up their skirts.

One parent said: "The school needs to back off and admit that perhaps they took it to far.

"If their worry is about skirts being too short then they should deal with that issue and not prevaricate about it being for other reasons."

The Argus:

In response, a spokesperson for the school said: "Priory School uniform is designed to be a practical uniform which encourages students to be ready to focus on their school work and activities.

"Our uniform also helps us to dilute the status placed on expensive clothes or labels and challenge the belief that we are defined by what we wear.

"Instead, we encourage individual beliefs, ideas, passions and well-being and an ethos of camaraderie that is reflected in this shared experience.

"We believe that a uniform worn without modification is the best way to ensure equality.

"We do not want children feeling vulnerable and stressed by the pressure they feel to wear or own the latest trend or status symbol.

"Priory school is not unusual in having a trousers as the uniform item for all students.

"There are at least 40 other schools which have a similar uniform requirement.

"Our core purpose remains the quality of teaching and learning and we aim to achieve this by maximising the time spent on planning, delivering and evaluating the quality of provision."