Newquay Tretherras school to ban skirts because pupils wear them too short

File picture of school girls wearing a skirt as part of their uniform
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

One of the largest secondary schools in Cornwall has banned skirts because girls wear them too short and it's become too much of a nag to enforce. Newquay Tretherras has told parents that from September skirts will no longer be part of the uniform and girls will have to wear trousers or approved shorts. All pupils must also all wear smart looking leather shoes that can be polished.

The school said the idea of the ban on skirts was to help better police uniforms and to avoid 'fashion cliques'. Along with Newquay Junior Academy in Edgcumbe Avenue - the two schools being part of the same Cornwall Education Learning Trust - Newquay Tretherras, which has more than 1,700 pupils, launched a consultation with pupils and parents before the May half term.

Those taking part opted for trousers to replace skirts which will now been scrapped from the uniform from September. In a letter to parents seen by CornwallLive dated yesterday (Wednesday, June 12), head of school Gemma Harris said: "We understand your frustration this time last year we were asking to purchase a school skirt that we are now disallowing, and for this I can only apologise.

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"Please know how hard we have tried to ensure students wear their skirts in line with policy and have already tried a wide range of support and sanctions."

In her letter to parents Ms Harris said the decision had been taken with pupils' input and feedback on board including meetings with herself, form tutors and even a 'Trousers Choice' meeting where 100 students decided on the best trousers to wear.

She added: "Leaders across the school have been reflecting on how articulate, respectful and engaged the students have been. They have had a lot to say and we have listened.

"I'll just finish with a reminder of why we are doing this by quoting some of our KS3 students during our meetings: 'Miss, what I can't wait for is for everyone to be in the same NT club, not having to try and look all popular'. 'It will be good not to hear teachers having to nag all the time'. I don't think I could have put it better myself - as staff we want to be focusing on that which matters: learning and well-being."

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She added: "We're looking forward to September where, having made all the changes we have needed to make, we can settle down and ensure the children of Newquay attend a warm, happy and vibrant school where all thrive."

From September all students will have to wear plain black tailored trousers made or standard materials and importantly must sit at the waist and reach the shoe line.

It's not the first time, schools in Cornwall - or Devon - and beyond have banned skirts, or tried to. In March this year, Launceston College announced a similar move but was forced to back down following a backlash by parents. Previously Tiverton High School in Devon said it would also ban skirts to create a "more gender-neutral uniform policy".