“We should not specify what boys and girls wear” at school, says LGBT teacher trainer

Schools should adopt “gender neutral” uniforms to make them lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly and inclusive, and end bullying, a teacher training specialist has said.

Elly Barnes, chief executive of Educate and Celebrate, said training in LGBT issues should be part of all training for teachers within school, as it is not currently taught when trainees are working towards qualified status.

Ms Barnes spoke ahead of a session at the Boarding Schools’ Alliance annual conference this afternoon where she was due to discuss how schools can become LGBT friendly.

She said teaching about LGBT should not be limited to personal, social and health education or sex and relationships education, but should be part of the whole curriculum.

Part of her work, she said, was to make sure school policy was up to date and uniform polices changed.

Ms Barnes said: “We shouldn’t be specifying what boys wear and what girls wear. I am obsessed by social justice, so for me, is it right that women can wear perceived boys’ clothes and not get looked at or laughed at, but if a boy decides to wear girls’ clothes he will be laughed at?

“Now to me that’s not social justice. And this work is absolutely about eradicating discrimination on all levels and that is one of the main things we are looking at.”

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