Boys reject kilts at Edinburgh Gaelic school

Rachel Cameron, left, and Kathryn Bain are impressed by their new uniforms. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Rachel Cameron, left, and Kathryn Bain are impressed by their new uniforms. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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BOYS going back to skirl at the Capital’s first Gaelic-dedicated primary were offered the chance to wear kilts as part of their uniform – but none of them has taken up the chance.

Scores of girls at Parkside Primary, which opens its doors tomorrow, are set to arrive for the start of term resplendent in Holyrood tartan after opting to wear kilts.

But the boys – who were also allowed to choose the traditional plaid garments from a “school uniform menu” – have uniformly decided to ditch kilts and are sticking with standard dark trews.

Headteacher Anne MacPhail said: “If the boys wanted to, they could wear kilts but as far as I know, it’s only the girls that have gone for it.”

Both boys and girls were able to choose what they would wear at Parkside, or Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairc, as it will be known in Gaelic.

But while the boys have so far proved less keen on 
Scotland’s national dress and settled on wearing their dark trousers with the school’s navy blue and logo-embroidered sweater, staff said the girls had signed up in droves for its brand new kilted skirt.

The uniform is not cheap – sourcing the skirt from a reputable Edinburgh supplier is likely to cost at least £40, with the school sweater priced at around £9.

But teachers said the garment would quickly become a hallmark of the school and a symbol of its Edinburgh links.

Ms MacPhail added: “As a tartan, it’s not too loud – you have denimy blues and gold running through, with green and darker blue as well.

“It was first chosen a few years ago for the choir to wear when they sing at the Mod and it was one that people really liked.

“I think people also liked the idea of linking with Edinburgh and so the colours in the tartan are ones that go with lots of things – the Water of Leith and the school logo that appears 
on the school sweater, for example.”

Pupils who visited the school yesterday to pick up and try on their new skirts and sweaters before tomorrow’s morning bell said they loved the design. P6 pupil Kathryn Bain, ten, said: “I like the kilt – I like the colours and the tartan, and the design, and I feel happy when I have it on.”

Classmate Rachel Cameron, ten, agreed and said: “I like the blues in the kilt – it’s a nice shade.

“I’m excited about wearing it to school and I like the new logo as well.”

Parents said seeing their children in the uniform as the new school prepared to open was an emotional experience.

Rachel’s mum Fiona, 42, said: “It’s a really nice, good-looking tartan. It’s exciting for me to see Rachel wearing it.

“I think everyone at the school is a bit overwhelmed that this is actually happening and the school is about to open.”