FURIOUS parents and pupils have swarmed the school gates this morning protesting against a new gender neutral uniform policy.
Just before the summer holidays, Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex, forced all pupils to wear the neutral outfit on the first day back, or they will be sent home.
Police were called to the school entrance this morning which was crowded with pupils holding placards.
One placard says: “£100 for 1 uniform for 9 months is not sustainable!”
Another reads: “Fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change.”
Accompanied by their parents, the students were wearing the old uniform skirts which are inches above their knees.
The new uniform requires all students to wear grey formal suit-like trousers, a shirt and a jumper.
But parents have branded the scheme “pointless”.
One parent of a year 11 pupil, who did not want to be named, said: “This is not about the uniforms being gender neutral.
“This is about children and parents complaining about having to buy completely new uniforms for only a few terms.
“It is not a good situation especially as it is my daughter’s final year of school and it’s really disruptive.”
The secondary school rolled out the rule for all pupils to wear trousers in 2017 after “concerns” were raised over the length of skirts and to cater for transgender pupils.
At the time, the school said only new students would be required to wear the new uniform which barred girls from wearing skirts.
But shortly before this year’s summer holidays the school ordered all students, will be required to wear the “gender neutral” uniform.
The school insists the new uniform would help to “dilute the status placed on expensive clothes and labels”,
‘A BIT LIKE BREXIT’
A parent added: “The school made the decision to do this right at the end of term without any time left for us to sort something out – so it’s a bit like Brexit.”
Parents say they have been in discussions with the school about the possibility of a compromise.
And one parent said they were offered money towards the cost of the new uniform.
A spokesman for the Priory School said: “Our uniform is designed to be a practical uniform which encourages students to be ready to focus on their school work and activities.
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“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.
“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.”
The news comes as millions of children, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, gear up for the first day of term.
Other schools in the country have also faced a backlash over new uniform restrictions.