The Lib Dems have just backed this simple change to reduce gender inequality in schools

A 15 year old student from Scotland is changing the debate on gendered uniforms.

The Lib Dems held their annual conference at the weekend – and it didn’t pick up a huge amount of attention (dare we say it, for understandable reasons).

One policy that went totally unreported though could make a huge difference to gender inequality in our education system. 

A 15 year old student from Scotland – Jess Insall – took to the conference floor to back a simple change: introducing gender-neutral uniforms in schools.

She told the conference: 

“I am angry that girls are often forced to wear impractical and sexualised uniforms from ages as young as four years old. Four years old.

“The minute a girl walks into primary school she is shown that boys have more freedom to run about. She is taught to take inequality for granted, and to accept it as the norm.

“We can change that. Instead of making all boys wear trousers, and all girls wear skirts, schools should simply let all pupils choose between trousers and skirts.”

It’s now been backed by the Lib Dems, after Conference overwhelmingly voted to support the proposals:

Commenting, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

“I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats are taking the lead in opposing the outdated and discriminatory practice of enforcing gendered school uniforms.

“Why shouldn’t children have the choice to dress in a way that makes them feel comfortable, without judgement?

“A gender neutral uniform policy can help to ensure every young person feels accepted and comfortable at their school, no matter their gender.”

She added that the Daily Mail’s fear-mongering of seeing ‘boys in skirts’ didn’t really wash in kilt-clad Scotland…

The Lib Dems confirmed to this site that it was now official policy. But we’ve seen little put out about it. Why?

Gone would be the days of girls being forced to wear skirts – there can be a new approach that tears down the old gender binary. Good riddance, we say. 

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.