Primary school boys and girls wear skirts to promote gender equality

·3-min read
File photo  (A xin)
File photo (A xin)

A primary school is encouraging boys and girls to wear a skirt to school to promote gender equality.

Teachers and pupils at Castleview Primary in Edinburgh took part in the initiative for the first time on November 4, coined “Wear a Skirt to School Day.”

The move was inspired by a campaign in Spain where teachers and pupils have worn skirts to class in support of student Mikel Gomez, who was expelled for wearing one last year.

Castleview P6 pupils, equivalent to Year Six, asked teachers if they could do something similar to show their support after learning about gender stereotypes.

Parents praised the school for promoting child-driven learning and encouraging their individual passions and ideas.

Mother Nicola Taylor, 36, said: “The idea actually came from the children, not the teachers. It’s an amazing school and the children love what they’re doing.

“It was a choice, you didn’t have to take part. Some were dressed amazingly with checkered skirts, long skirts, and knee-length skirts.

“The teachers were involved as well and it was absolutely amazing to see the staff and students come together like that to support a cause they care about.”

Nicola’s son Ethan took part in the campaign (Nicola Taylor)
Nicola’s son Ethan took part in the campaign (Nicola Taylor)

Nicola’s son Ethan Provan, 11, supported the drive sporting a stretchy black skirt over his school uniform.

“It was really fun and it felt good to be supporting others,” he said.

Nurse Alison McKerrow, 41, chair of the parent council, said her daughter Emma was one of several students to present the idea to the headteacher.

“She doesn’t stop talking about it. It’s something they are so passionate about, even the boys,” she said.

“I’m delighted, I think everybody has a right to feel happy in their own skin.

“There are probably boys out there, in this school and others, that want to wear a skirt but feel they can’t.

Alison’s daughter Emma was one of several students to write to the headteacher and promote the campaign (Alison McKerrow)
Alison’s daughter Emma was one of several students to write to the headteacher and promote the campaign (Alison McKerrow)

“Our school is an amazing school and they try so hard to promote inclusivity. The school is in an impoverished area and it is trying to create a warm and welcoming environment for anybody.

“The kids are encouraged to become passionate about whatever they are interested in and they have also written letters recently to world leaders at Cop26.

“Children in the younger classes made their own skirts to wear. Lots of boys took part, lots of the male teachers took part and some of the football coaches also wore skirts in solidarity with the kids.”

Castleview Primary said it is “so proud” of its pupils in a statement on Twitter.

City of Edinburgh Council also praised the move and said it is “fully committed to promoting equality and diversity” especially in schools.

“We want to ensure all our schools are inclusive and Castleview are carrying out a lot of positive work to promote equality across all their year groups,” a spokesperson said.

“The school has had positive feedback from parents however pupils don’t have to take part if they don’t want to.”

Since the announcement, many parents have taken to social media to criticise the campaign with calls for the headteacher to be sacked.

Parents at the school say they are “disgusted” by the reaction and that there is “no need to tear down what children want to do.”

The Evening Standard has contacted Castleview Primary School for comment.

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