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Pupils protest at Lewes school over gender-neutral uniforms | Education

About 100 pupils and parents staged a protest outside a school in East Sussex against its introduction of gender-neutral uniforms.

Police attended the demonstration outside Priory school in Lewes against a new policy instructing all pupils to wear trousers.

Protesters holding signs reading “a new uniform for nine months is not sustainable” and “fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change”, argued girls should be allowed to wear skirts and that it was both wasteful and expensive to ask parents to buy new clothes.

A spokesman for Priory school said the uniform was designed to be practical and to encourage students to focus on their school work. “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,” they said.

“Instead, we encourage individual beliefs, ideas, passions and wellbeing and an ethos of camaraderie that is reflected in this shared experience.”

Maria Caulfield MP

Very disturbed to see the school turning away girls from Priory school because they choose to wear a skirt and calling the police on them. This is not how we should be treating the young women of Lewes

September 6, 2019

The school first introduced a trouser-only policy for new students in 2017, but rolled it out to all students on Friday. Protesting parents complained it was outrageous to ask pupils who did not adhere to the new rules to return home and change.

A Sussex police spokeswoman said: “Police attended Mountfield Road, Lewes, on Friday morning where a group of around 100 adults and children were protesting. Officers engaged with the protesters and they left the area shortly after. There were no offences reported.”

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