Towards a Post-Heteronormative Society : Exploring the Interpretation and Negotiation of Gender Equity in the Uniform Policies of English Primary Schools

Jordan, Emma and Jackson, Carolyn (2023) Towards a Post-Heteronormative Society : Exploring the Interpretation and Negotiation of Gender Equity in the Uniform Policies of English Primary Schools. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Abstract

This thesis brings the literature on uniform, gender equity and heteronormativity into conversation with the lived experiences of primary school staff and governors in England through a consideration of two research questions: 1. To what extent are school uniform policies compliant with the DfE School Uniform Guidance? 1.1 Does the uniform policy specify different clothing for boys and girls? 1.2 Are girls and LGBTQ+ pupils disadvantaged by the policy options they are given? 2. Can school uniform policies support gender equity? 2.1 What explanations are given for the choice of current policy? 2.2 How could the school adapt the policy to provide equal and appropriate provision for LGBTQ+ children? 2.3 Are there any barriers to making these changes and how could these be overcome? I draw on interviews with staff and governors at fifteen primary schools in Nottinghamshire to answer these questions. I argue that in its present format the DfE Guidance has had a limited impact on uniform equity. Nearly a decade since it was first published schools continue to maintain policies that do not account for cultural needs and have a huge financial impact on low-income families. Furthermore, many only recognise the gender binary and have gender biased uniform specifications that disadvantage girls and LGBTQ+ children. This study makes an original contribution to current discourses about school uniform legislation through a consideration of the impact of school uniform policies on LGBTQ+ children. I assert that a primary factor contributing to the success or failure of schools to provide gender equity is awareness, not a lack of skill, time, or money. Neither legislation or funding currently protects LGBTQ+ children from experiencing less than equal provision within the English education system. I recommend that the Department of Education passes legislation requiring all schools in England to implement inclusive, non-prescriptive, gender-neutral school uniform policies.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? no - not funded ??
ID Code:
195758
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Jun 2023 12:50
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 06:03