Welsh school uniforms to becomes more gender neutral

New statutory guidelines are urging schools in Wales to adopt uniforms which are more affordable, accessible and gender neutral.

Previous 2011 guidance from the Welsh Government was non-statutory, meaning schools were not legally required to have regard to it, but this will change from September. This includes considering ways of keeping down the costs of uniforms, stipulating basic items and colours, whether school logos are strictly necessary and if they should apply to just one item of uniform or provided free of charge.

From September, a school’s uniform policy is also be expected to be gender-neutral. This means that when a list of clothing items would be published by the school, the items would not be assigned to a specific gender.

Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said: “Families will know how expensive new uniforms can be. This guidance puts a statutory responsibility on schools to consider the affordability, access and availability when setting their school uniform and appearance policy.

“Along with Pupil Development Grant access, this guidance will help reduce the burden on families so our children can focus on fulfilling their potential and enjoying a healthy academic and social life. We should not be enforcing outdated ideas of what clothes are suitable for their gender, especially if it makes them wear something they feel uncomfortable wearing.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.”

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