Primary school plans to ban skirts as 'some are just too short'

Students at the school are unhappy with the regulations around skirts
The school plans to ban skirts -Credit:Getty

A primary school has proposed a complete ban on skirts - as pupils are wearing them too short. Newquay Junior Academy in Cornwall has written to parents to say that it hopes to enforce the skirt ban from September.

If it is approved, female pupils would have to wear trousers or tailored shorts. It is believed to be the first school for younger children in Britain to try to implement such a policy.

Angry parents said that while they understood similar uniform crackdowns in secondary schools, with a trend of pupils 'rolling up' skirts to make them shorter, they said it was not appropriate for younger girls to be affected by a blanket ban. The school, part of the Cornwall Education Learning Trust, has now written to the pupils' parents to seek their opinions.

Executive headteacher Craig Hayes wrote in the letter to parents: "The proposed change is that there will no longer be an option to wear skirts within our uniform policy. Instead, we are proposing that instead of a skirt, pupils will all wear either tailored black school trousers or tailored black school shorts.

"The rationale for this is that we are concerned about the way that some of our girls are wearing their skirts and this is reflected in comments from many of you, as parents and carers, but also from visitors and our community. Some skirts are just too short and the length is difficult to rectify and/or monitor.

"The length of the skirt is not in line with school uniform and we are at a point now where this must be addressed. As such, we are reviewing the wearing of skirts for September 2024 and considering a move to trousers for all."

The letter added: "We want our pupils to express their individuality through their beliefs, passions, talents, and minds and not through their clothing and image. We all know that, unfortunately, some feel pressure to customise their uniform in a way that we know none of us would encourage. Our pupils deserve to attend an academy where they feel safe and can thrive and where all are treated fairly."

The letter said the Academy Uniform created an 'inclusive atmosphere because it does not differentiate pupils by background'.

It explained: "We believe that a uniform worn without modification is the best way to ensure equality. We do not want pupils feeling vulnerable and stressed by the pressure they feel to wear the latest trend or status symbol.

"Wearing a uniform as expected, dilutes the status placed on expensive shoes, labels, or length of skirt. We strive to shift the emphasis of competition and status, to create a feeling of collective pride and of support for peers."

Parents have taken to social media to express their thoughts on the proposed rule. Some were 'not happy' that the school wanted to 'dictate' what young pupils could wear.

One parent, whose child attends Year Three, said: I’m not happy with the proposed new policy. Totally understand girls in secondary school rolling skirts up etc, but for little girls as young as seven that doesn’t even cross their mind.

"To ban summer dresses? Totally ridiculous, my child has an issue of getting heat stroke and overheating very easily. When this happens she just shuts off, so that is putting a halt on her learning.

"Also if they are going to propose that ALL girls should follow this policy, that I should highly suggest the school should 'practise what they preach' and say to all female teachers, skirts should not be worn to work to set an example to our students. But I don’t think they will.

"Don’t punish little girls for things that the older girls are doing. Crack down on them in Year 6 then they won’t get much of a shock in a more strict secondary school."

Another described the proposal as "an absolute joke" and "very sad". Though some understood the need for changes, they deemed the 'rule' too extreme.

One wrote: "They’re little children and people really wanna dictate what they can wear? I could get it if it were older ones messing about with their skirts, but these are little girls - who wear dresses because they know Mummy thinks they look pretty not because they’re trying to impress.

"Come on schools, this is ridiculous now. Or let me guess? This is your failed attempt at getting boys to not wear skirts during the summer because you won’t let them wear shorts and everybody has to miss out and potentially overheat in class."

The school has said the final decision on the ban would be confirmed after the May half-term break.

One person commented: "I understand for secondary (kind of) the length of skirt/style etc should be addressed not ban! Still they need to take account that not all children are the same and do have special needs. I feel sorry for our children, my daughter especially would not cope."