Gendered school uniforms 'out of step with society' - principal

Schools forcing kids to dress according to their gender are out of step with society, a principal says.

Dunedin North Intermediate principal Heidi Hayward got rid of gendered uniforms in 2016 and is adamant it isn't a big deal.

"I think for me it's about choice, schools are really out of step with society and there's not really other places in society where you're expected to wear clothing based on your gender.

"For our school, we've simply followed step with society in saying 'these are the options, you pick what you're most comfortable in'."

She's shocked it's become a newsworthy topic, because for the kids at Dunedin North it wasn't a big deal.

"It literally is just the case that we've got four or five options for uniform... and we just say 'these are the clothes, you pick the clothes that you feel comfortable in.'

"We haven't been terribly innovative, we've just taken the labels off."

The school had a few girls make the move from skirts to shorts in the first year but since then have also had a few boys switch to kilts as well.

"Nobody bats an eyelid it really is just not that exciting, they're clothes," she said.

Hayward's comments come as New Zealand educators call for the abolishment of gendered uniforms across the country, after the Welsh Department of Education introduced the police.

"In terms of gender and the LGBTQI community, I think it's a great idea," NZSTA president Lorraine Kerr told Newshub.

Hayward told The AM Show she wasn't sure if the move to new uniforms was progressive, so much as just reflecting what it's like to be outside of school.

"I'm wearing pants today, it's just so ordinary."