UK private school alters uniform code for transgender students

A UK private school has changed its uniform code to accommodate for transgender students. Source: AAP

A private school in the UK now allows boys to wear skirts and girls to wear pants in an attempt to accommodate for transgender students. But will Australia follow suit?

A prestigious co-ed private college in the UK has recently altered its school uniform rules to accommodate transgendered students, scrapping the distinction between girls' and boys' uniforms.

Brighton College, which has imposed strict uniform rules for more than 170 years now, said the school was changing with the times and wanted to create a comfortable environment for transgendered students.

Parents will have to write to the school before a student can switch from one uniform code to another.

In Australia, most public schools offer the option of either pants or skirts for those who identify as transgender. 

But Australian private schools have yet to follow suit.

Katherine Cummings, a spokesperson from The Gender Centre in Sydney, said she believed transgender options for school uniforms was not only inevitable, but was a logical step for our society to take.

"Assuming the parents and medical practitioner are in agreement the child is transgender, it would seem like a logical step to allow students to adopt the gender they are most comfortable with," she said.

Ms Cummings also said that awareness about transgender issues is greater amongst adults, however it is something that affects the very young and very old as well.

Ms Cummings has three biological daughters but only transitioned from male to female 28 years ago when she was 52. 

"I always knew [I was female], all along, even when I was younger, I always knew," she said.

Head teacher of Brighton College, Richard Cairns said the decision put the needs of the students first.

"If some boys and girls are happier identifying with a different gender from that in which they were born, then my job is to make sure that we accommodate that," he said.

"I hate the idea of anyone being in my school who is miserable because they're being asked to dress in a way they are uncomfortable with."

Brighton College also made headway in embracing diverse sexualities and genders by electing their first openly gay school captain in 2013, Will Emery.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch