To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to issue guidance to schools about the application of school uniform and other potentially gender distinctive policies.
13 June 2019
The Department publishes guidance to help schools understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the Act. This includes a duty on schools not to discriminate unlawfully due to the protected characteristics of sex and gender reassignment. As part of the Government’s LGBT Action Plan, the Department has committed to updating this guidance and this will be published in due course. The LGBT Action Plan contains a commitment that the Government Equalities Office will work with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to publish comprehensive guidance for schools on how to support transgender pupils. The Equality Act guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.
The Department already publishes guidance for schools on setting school uniform policies. The guidance sets out that a school should ensure that their school uniform policy is fair and reasonable for all its students and that policies should be flexible enough to accommodate the different needs of pupils.
In making decisions about school uniform policy, and all other school policies, a school must have regard to its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty. The school uniform guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.