School plans to ban skirts as some pupils wear them 'way too short'

Schools are facing an increase in suspensions due to racial abuse
A school is looking to ban skirts -Credit:PA Wire/PA Images

Newquay Junior Academy in Cornwall has sparked controversy by suggesting a total ban on skirts, citing concerns over pupils wearing them too short. The primary school has reached out to parents about the potential enforcement of this policy from September.

Should the proposal be accepted, girls would be required to don trousers or tailored shorts instead. This move could mark the first time a British school for younger children attempts to introduce such a rule.

Parents have expressed their frustration, acknowledging that while secondary schools often face issues with students 'rolling up' skirts, imposing a comprehensive ban on younger girls seems excessive. The school, which is part of the Cornwall Education Learning Trust, is now canvassing parent opinions on the matter.

Read more: Heartless thieves smash door at Coventry charity shop

In his communication with parents, Executive headteacher Craig Hayes explained: "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."

He further justified the proposal by stating: "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.", reports Wales Online.

"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 further 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 Academy believes uniform fosters an "inclusive atmosphere since it doesn't differentiate pupils by background".

The letter went on to say: "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."

The new proposed rule has created quite a stir among parents on social media. Some expressed their dissatisfaction and stated they were 'not happy' with the school seeking to 'dictate' what young students could wear.

One parent, whose child is in Year Three, expressed her dissatisfaction with the proposed new policy, stating: "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 parent described the proposal as "an absolute joke" and "very sad". While some parents understood the need for changes, they deemed the 'rule' too extreme.

One parent commented: "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 stated that a final decision regarding the ban will be made after the May half-term break.

One individual remarked: "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."

Get daily headlines and breaking news emailed to you - it’s FREE