A school where I taught as head of history for seven years, Lewes Priory Comprehensive in East Sussex, has been much in the news. It has decided to ban any pupil – girl or boy – from wearing a skirt. Piers Morgan, a pupil at the school during my time there, has described the ban as ‘gender-neutral nonsense’. He is right.

This is gender identity theft in its starkest form. By all means offer individual support to that tiny number of children who feel, without the prompting of gender zealots, that they have a personal concern, but this should not be at the expense of the overwhelming majority of other children. If anyone needs help in schools these days, it is those misguided fanatics who are likely to cause much misery, upset and trauma by encouraging children to question their gender.

What a confusing world it has become for youngsters! Down the road from Lewes Priory School, fee-paying Brighton College has decided against banning skirts and instead allows boys to wear them. If the lads wants a ‘laff at the silly staff’ they can come in dressed in skirts! And boys being boys this has already happened in one school of which I am aware.

Lewes Priory School, though, has form when it comes to using a ‘ban’ to enforce educational ideologies. In my time there, my departmental colleagues and I were banned from expressing to parents our concerns about the dumbing down involved in what was, then, the new GCSE exam for history. Model questions such as one that asked candidates to explain why, in 1944, the Allies kept ‘as secret as possible’ the D-Day invasion plans seemed to us a complete nonsense.

More worrying were ‘empathy’ questions, such as one that required children to imagine that they were PLO terrorists and to explain why they had blown up an Israeli passenger plane. Bizarrely, the mark scheme stated that top marks would be awarded only to those candidates who displayed something called ‘differentiated historical empathy’. This meant that they would have to include in their answer not only a justification for murdering the passengers but also an appreciation of the point of view of the people they were killing. This created a dilemma for me. Rather than awarding a top grade to children providing such an answer, I felt it would be more appropriate to send them to a psychiatrist.

We put our concerns to the governing body and suggested that we should be allowed to double-enter our pupils for both the new GCSE exam and the more rigorous O-Level (O-Grade) that was still available in Scotland and covered the same period of history. Following a governors’ meeting on the evening of the ‘Great Storm’ in 1987, we were accused in writing of ‘insubordination and mutiny’ and informed that our ‘sackings’ had been discussed (illegally) ‘in the presence of county officers’.

We went ahead and taught the pupils off school premises, free of charge, in a room hired by parents. The children did very well in the Scottish O-Grade exam and greatly benefited from the experience. The case hit the headlines and was debated in the House of Lords. I and my colleague Dr Anthony Freeman were given the ‘order of the boot’. I went on to become a successful headteacher in the private sector; he never worked again. Piers Morgan was taught by Dr Freeman and, on breakfast TV, described him as ‘a brilliant teacher’ even though, at one parental consultation evening, he had called him a ‘buffoon’.

In this new row, Lewes Priory is once again showing the ugly and sinister side of the educational establishment. Regardless of common sense, you will do as we tell you, think as we think, act as we act . . . or else.


  1. The clue regarding Brighton College is in the words “fee paying”.

    Bascially cashing in on the current transgender trend and creating what in the marketing world is known as a Unique Selling Point.

    If your little boy wants to wear a skirt to school – come to the only school where he can – Brighton College!

  2. The sort of deranged leftist zealots who invented “differentiated historical empathy” display little “differentiated contemporary empathy” for those with a different point of view! Like everything else their empathy is selective and tailored to their modern political agenda.

    And the term is nonsense anyway, applying binary identity group politics and stereotyping. Passengers on a plane with a singular point of view just because they are Israeli? What utter tripe. What was the “point of view” of the Manchester Arena audience? It is just a thinly veiled attempt to justify/excuse terrorism in the Corbyn manner, by pretending perpetrators and victims have some kind of equivalence. The fact that it was conceived in the education establishment demonstrates just how rotten the state is.

  3. None of this would be such a problem if there were a scientific basis for such policies – but there is not.

    The truly terrifying aspect of all of this nonsense is that it is ideologically based. These policies are introduced merely because of political beliefs.

    It never ceases to amaze me how, those on the left especially, are so willing to experiment with society, on the basis that they have some sort of morally superior outlook. And that even though they don’t really know what the consequences of their actions will be, they confidently assume that everything will turn out OK simply because of their smug ideology.

    Yet look at all the people who have suffered throughout history because of socialist experiments such as these. Carried out on such a vast scale that millions died. No wonder socialists always seem to need a violent ‘revolution’ to get into power – no one in their right mind would vote democratically for such tyranny.

    The excuse is always ‘but that wasn’t true socialism’, as if to say ‘hang on, we’ll get it right soon, just give socialism a chance’ – while real people suffer and die.

    But let’s not ‘hang on’ shall we? Let’s just stick with what we know and let society evolve over time on the basis of scientific evidence. Is that such a bad idea really?

    • rbw152 wrote:

      The truly terrifying aspect of all of this nonsense is that it is ideologically based. These policies are introduced merely because of political beliefs.

      Strike out political and substitute religious: this sort of insanity is religious in its zeal.

      • I agree. it seems to have all the same characteristics – even though such people swear they are secular or atheist.

        I think it’s because human beings need some sort of religious belief, regardless of whether they profess to be believers or not.

        • I agree, I think zeal is an innate human characteristic in some people and if it does not come out in religion it will come out in some other way. Similarly with patriotism; if it is not allowed (as it has not been in Britain for fifty years) to come out in love of one’s country, the feeling will be transferred to the supra-national; previously to the USSR and more latterly, to the EU.

    • It is easy to understand them; they hate us. They hate our society & our families. They hate our culture & our entertainments. They hate that we do not recognise their intrinsic superiority. Everything they do is designed to destroy what they hate. What comes afterwards is of little real interest and any questions about whether it will be better or worse than what came before is entirely irrelevant to them.

  4. Unfortunately for the loons of the educational establishment, a change of clothing does not change the intrinsic nature of the wearer. Girls who wear trousers will not magically grow a penis, and boys who wear skirts will not see their appendages disappear to be replaced by a vagina. Nor will switches of dress produce some kind of neutered “it” with no claim to either masculinity or femininity, no matter how intensely the loons want it to happen.

    However the same loons are likely to have far more success in shaping children into their required mould by the invention of such concepts as “differentiated historical empathy”. It is the mind-bending that is going on in the enclaves of the classroom that need to be understood and monitored – and challenged.

    However, the nonsense over school uniforms does serve a useful purpose: wherever gender-neutral clothing is imposed, it is a sure sign that there will be an even worse malaise taking root in the teaching. For a parent, this should be a clear alarm bell and a red flashing light. Get your child out of there.

  5. “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” (Theodore Dalrymple)

    • Blimey, that’s pretty heavy stuff.

      It explains why otherwise intelligent people seem able or even willing to participate in such behaviour without succumbing to acute cognitive dissonance though.

      I think I’ll read a bit more from this guy as his name is always cropping up in such discussions.

      • He is very worth reading. A bit (overly)pessimistic but often incredibly observant and frequently entertaining. An atheist too, so despite all that might not go down too well with many people on here.

      • It’s his nomme de plume, Dr Anthony Daniels one of the greatest essayists of today. Some enlightened Americans have a website Skeptical Doctor of all his writings.

  6. The problem with the current view of gender as being entirely subjective is that it is nonsense and in the case of children almost certainly damagingnonsense which is likely to be life changing for children who in the past would at puberty have become aligned to their biology.

    It is child abuse to encourage children to assert they are in some way not their biological gender.Any medical intervention in this direction is certainly abuse. A good article is:


    The primary responsibility is the parents but schools should not encourage this damaging nonsense.

    • But if parents try and fight the nonsense they are accused of being ‘transphobic’ and neglectful. Schools put the ideas into children’s heads, then tell the children that it is really hard for them living with parents who ‘don’t understand’.

  7. In relation to this boom in ‘transgender’ kids, there needs to be a discussion about what is called ‘excessive attention seeking’ How much is this the real cause?
    Creating ‘drama’ in your life causes the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to secrete endorphins, which are the pain-suppressing and pleasure-inducing compounds, which heroin and other opiates mimic. There are people out there who are really addicted to sympathy for example.
    For some people being a victim actually feels really good. Using victim hood to create ‘life drama’ is like a drug to some, a drug that feels good so it is rewarding. Reward prompting the release of dopamine for example..

  8. This school is now ‘inaccessible’ to families who do not allow their daughters to wear trousers for religious reasons. It can no longer claim to be ‘inclusive’ and ‘catering for all’.

  9. I’m against school uniforms on principle anyway and this is plain bloody daft-like the Head who made pupils line up in the rain and sent home 100 of them for wearing £7 trousers from Tesco rather than £15.99 regulation ones from the school outfitter.

  10. We are watching the germination of the next child-abuse scandal.

    Although whether these “teachers” find their aging selves being hauled in front of courts of law, or sharia tribunals, remains to be seen.

  11. Victoria Derbyshire program on BBC2 television in the UK this morning.

    She interviewed the parents who had withdrawn their boy from a Church of England primary school because of lack of consultation over a “transgender” six year old transitioning in the school and the effect on other children. The presenter tried to snow them by saying that their concerns were not shared by “doctors”. The parents said that it depended who you asked and referred to Christian Action literature.

    Also on the program was a trans-woman activist who persisted in trying to paint their concerns as hateful and was allowed a parting shot characterizing Christian Action as extremists akin to ISIS.

    • The the USA is ahead of us as usual and all parents need to check out an organisation called Mass Resistance. They have started a UK branch to help parents fight the tyranny of the LGBT lobby which is gaining ground in schools. It is ridiculous that a child who cannot even cross the road without the assistance of an adult is being given the choice to choose their sex (I refuse to use the word gender). This is confusing for their classmates who are then penalised for not remembering the new name. Our children are expected to engage in a lie and accept it – children know the difference between make believe and reality.
      I have just had a reply to my letter to the Minister of Education regarding the transgender issue. The whole letter is about how the Government want trans people to feel safe. That is they are more concerned about 0.1% of the population than they are about over 99% of the population and the danger to women and children from males state they are female whilst retaining male organs. They obviously not concerned about the confusion for our children who are participating in a fairy tale bad having to pretend it’s true. I told her in my letter that I like many others was not willing to stand idly by and allow them to destroy the life of my grandchild.
      We all need to support these parents in this court case.

  12. ‘If anyone needs help in schools these days, it is those misguided fanatics who are likely to cause much misery, upset and trauma by encouraging children to question their gender.’

    That is their chief strategem.

    1. Capture the children whilst their critical faculties are untrained;
    2. Bypass the authority of parents; and
    3. Sow doubt into the minds of children: ‘Are you happy with your arms?’

    • I have just pulled my youngest from the Year 7 PSHE program. Two of the lessons are called ‘Who do you think you are?’ So 127 out of the 128 11 year olds are about to start on their journey of ‘self-discovery’….by questioning if they really are who they thought they were.

          • You should get one. It might broaden your view of the world out of your tiny blinkered mindset.

            There was a lad in our class at school who had these jumped-up “we don’t have a TV and proud of it” ever-so-middle-class parents.

            In middle age, he told me that he looks back on his childhood and hates his parents for it as he now feels excluded from a massive slice of nostalgia when the rest of us are all talking about “Dad’s Army” and “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”.

          • Goodness, haven’t you got anything better to talk about?

            I don’t proactively let people know we don’t have TV, by the way.

        • Yes, I saw that when it happened. I was just searching for the link, but cannot find it, to where a government study found that the best way to increase uptake of sex education in Islamic schools was to do it their way, rather than OFSTED’s way. So that’s what happens.

      • If you bothered to find out about the course (it takes 5 minutes on google and the resources are free) you would have found out that the course is not what your silly jumped-up prejudice thinks it is.

        But then again, it’s so much easier to go grandstanding and pulling kids out of lessons whilst staying ignorant isn’t it ?

        Maybe they should do a PSHE course for people called Busy Mum called “Research something before you pull your kids out of lessons based on un-informed prejudice”

        • You cannot persuade mothers by resorting to ad hominem attacks.

          If you are carrying emotional wounds from your childhood, then perhaps you ought to seek counselling from a psychiatrist.

        • Actually, it’s even quicker than that. It takes me maximum two minutes to email the teacher and get the lesson plans in detail. It’s free, too.

          I admit I didn’t bother to get the lesson plans this time round – I’ve seen enough of them over the years to know I am the best informed parent in England.

          • So well informed you haven’t got the foggiest idea what the course is all about. I’m amazed your swollen head can fit through the school gates.

          • I don’t try – I believe in my children making their way to school independently. Important visitors to the school go through the front doors.

          • Actually you don’t. If you believed in your daughters being able to make their minds up independently, you wouldn’t be pulling them out of lessons that didn’t suit YOU.
            What you actually believe is your daughters making their way to school with the mindset of Busy Mum.

            You don’t even see the contradiction in wanting your kids to think independently with constantly fiddling and meddling in what they are exposed to.

            A more mature and less selfish way to behave would be to let them attend the lessons, then when they come home in the afternoon, sit round the kitchen table and talk about it as a family – what did they like/dislike – what did they think was useful/not useful – what did they agree with/not agree with.

          • It would take me all evening to do this on a one-to-one – or do you think I should expose the 11 year old to the sixth form PSHE content during a family discussion?

            The PSHE lessons look plausible on the surface but they are pure indoctrination, delivered from the ‘correct’ standpoint. Most of the topics are parental responsibility anyway and have no place in schools. Teachers look at me aghast when I say that I take responsibility for my children’s meals, thank you very much.

            Interestingly, my sons have proactively asked to be withdrawn from the sessions as they say there is no room for rational debate, especially when girls are present.

            I am sure they get exposed to all sorts of things at school – but PSHE tells them what to think about these things.

        • p.s. schools do write their own PSHE programs , using government resources as a guide. When choosing schools, I take into account the extent to which school documents (Policies etc) differ from the state-issued ones. The closer the match, the more suspect the school, in my view.

          • Admit it, there will never be a school good enough for you, will there ? Until the Westboro Baptist Church opens an educational establishment in Britain anyway.

          • Life choices often have to be the least worst option. PSHE teaches the next generation to think they are entitled to nothing but the best.

          • Nothing wrong at all with believing you are entitled to nothing but the best. It is a lesson I have taught my children since they were small.

            As long as it is understood that you achieve that goal through hard work and creativity and not through sponging off the state.

          • We could argue about the finer details of semantics and the extent to which “entitled” carries with it a sense of not having to work for it. But I am a massive believer in self-belief – after all, if you don’t believe in yourself, you will never get anybody else to believe in you.

            When I was a kid, a guy down our street had a superb Jaguar parked on his drive. I could have thought “I hate that guy for having a car like that” (left wing thinking), but instead, I thought “One day I’ll have a car like that” (right wing thinking). And now I have got a car like that!

          • PSHE is big on self-belief – having sowed the seeds of doubt in the first place. Schools are now full of tearful teens and teachers telling them how much they believe in them i.e. it’s the other way round – you must believe in yourself because I believe in you.

            P.s. Don’t forget to thank God for your providential blessings.

          • I’ve got a Monopoly box in the attic if that helps. The only difference is that instead of “The Angel Islington” it has “The person who got off his own backside and worked hard for himself Islington”

            Admittedly, that is quite a rare personality to actually find in Islington these days…

          • Can’t remember when I was last in those parts so please don’t prejudice my mind against the good burghers of Islington.

            I absolutely share your work ethic, by the way. That’s why I’m a busy mum.

          • If you really believe that self belief and hard work always result in success you are naive. It might have done in your case but plenty of hard working self believers get crushed by the system and the corrupt and conniving within it.

            Eccliastes 9:11 “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

            True then. True now.

          • To me, religion has always seemed far more left wing than right wing.

            Left wing people pray to the state to solve problems and put things right.
            Religious people pray to a god to solve problems and put things right
            Right wing people sort things out themselves.

            Left wing people want to be part of a organised collective called the state
            Religious people want to be part of an organised collective called the church
            Right wing people want freedom to do their own things without interference from an organised collective.

            Left wing people take unwavering instruction from little red books
            Religious people take unwavering instruction from little books called the bible
            Right wing people challenge indoctrination.

            Being religious is LEFT WING thinking.

          • “But I am a massive believer in self-belief – after all, if you don’t believe in yourself, you will never get anybody else to believe in you.”

            The irrepressible Captain Delusional strikes again.

          • The young are usually idealistic. Didn’t you ever want to achieve anything of a noble nature rather than just have something?

  13. The march rolls on and will continue until people decide to stand together and say “no more”.
    Unfortunately any social capital that may once have united us is dwindling fast and short of the second coming I doubt we, as a peaceful democratic nation will survive this.

  14. I know that I live in a reasonably wealthy area, but one thing that I’ve noticed over the past few years is the increase in the number of children going to the private schools in the area. The schools themselves have extended their premises and now have waiting lists.

    My daughter has recently taken our grandson out of the local C of E state junior school in favour of an Independent School. This was because the C of E school seemed more interested in political correctness and ethnic diversity than teaching reading and writing. He could tell us all about Muslim, Hindu and Jewish celebrations but nothing about Christian feast days. He was also given a rather biased view of the slave trade in history lessons. If this is typical of many schools, no wonder those that can are turning to the private sector.

  15. I’m working on leaving the UK for a country run by adults – any suggestions. Must have lots of classical music.

      • CRSM, I lived in Hungary for four years, and attended language classes twice a week. By the end of that time I could speak the language reasonably well. It is said to take about seven years to achieve fluency. It is difficult at first but gets easier. Hungary has quite a lot of problems and Mr Orban, although sound on the migration issues, does have some rather odd views – eg, he nationalised all the corner shops!

        • I’m thinking of Hungary as well, or Poland – magnificent countries that have no intention of repeating our mistakes.

          • I’m off to Poland later this year. I’ve decided I’m not going to spend any money in the Eurozone if I can help it – I would prefer my money went towards the Visegrad Treaty states.

  16. Did I read that right – Lewes Priory has banned girls from wearing skirts? Would the ban include the kilt if they have Scottish pupils? Teachers have always fretted about the shortness of girls’ skirts but actually banning a garment which has been part of female clothing for hundreds of years seems a little – what? Extreme? Loopy? Arbitrary? Dictatorial? Pointless? Headbangingly stupid? I know Lewes is not far from Brighton so perhaps they drink the same water but even so. Are there no adults left?

  17. The left realised decades ago, if you control the schools, you control the future.
    It reveals their grubby little cult for what it is, a willingness to indulge in child abuse merely promote their foul agenda.

  18. This is nonsensical and disheartening to every sensible person, but I fear that it will only get worse. Resistance is being punished with even more severity now that, as Peter Hitchens says, the police are “patrolling Twitter” instead of the streets.

  19. The cultural critic Camille Paglia has identified transgender mania as something seen at the end of civilisations and epochs. She references the Weimar Republic and Ancient Greece (where it took the form of androgynous statues). Coincidence? We have a parody of masculinity – ISIS – waiting in the wings. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMDVuHsVwKs

  20. I would very much like to know the numbers of teachers who have left the profession because of this type of lunacy.

  21. Its brainwashing, our schools are no longer schools
    The demonisation of men is vitally important to feminism and it is a constant theme that underscores all feminist discourse and literature. Feminism could not survive without it because most modern feminist activism is based on advocating for special status for women, using the justification that women have traditionally been oppressed and that men are basically brutish oppressors by default.

  22. The T of LGBT contains the seeds of its own destruction. Perhaps we should embrace joyfully these visionary first fruits of this deep flaw in the entire “trans” ideology, instead of rejecting them as political correctness gone mad. For, if men and boys cannot decide to “live as” men and boys (as the saying goes), for example by dressing differently from women and girls, then neither can women and girls who self-identify as trans men and boys. Or vice versa.

    If male and female dress conventions are abolished (as politically incorrect), the greatest victims will be those who wish to deceive others as to their sex (or “gender”), by cross-dressing. They won’t be able to cross-dress any more, if henceforth men and boys, and women and girls, dress the same.

    Without male and female dress, those who need to identify the sex of strangers they meet, in order to test whether they pass through their sexual orientation attraction filters, will have to resort to undressing them mentally (so-to-speak), as they look them up and down. Oh, how the ideologues have shot themselves in the foot!

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