School bans skirts for being 'far too revealing'

10 June 2021, 19:13

The uniform policy will be changed for staff and students
The uniform policy will be changed for staff and students. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

The headteacher of a school in Wales has banned students and staff from wearing skirts after receiving complaints that they were “too revealing”.

Lee Jarvis, headteacher of St Martin’s secondary school in Caerphilly, said in an email to parents that the school received “frequent” complaints from members of the public about “highly inappropriate and far too revealing attire for the workplace” for both staff and students.

“Over the last couple of years our school community has had concerns over the length of some learners skirts,” the email said.

“Despite us attempting to educate learners as to appropriate school wear and issuing school badged skirts of an appropriate length we have not been effective in ensuring that learners adhere to appropriate workplace attire.

“We have therefore concluded that this item of clothing needs to be removed from our uniform policy from September and replaced by tailored shorts for hot weather or alternatively trousers.”

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Parents have hit out at the change in policy, saying that individual students should be told if their clothing is inappropriate, instead of implementing a blanket ban.

The change in policy comes days after some UK primary schools told girls as young as four to wear “modesty shorts” underneath their summer dresses.

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The policy was designed to prevent young girls from showing their underwear whilst playing in the playground.

The Dell Primary School in Cheptstow, Monmouthshire – one of the schools to adopt the policy – said in a Facebook post: “While we do not want to give children messages that they are responsible for the actions of others, we cannot stand by while children’s actions may attract inappropriate attention from members of the public but did not act to protect them."

LBC’s Shelagh Fogarty said the announcement left her “speechless”.

"It is like saying a four, five, six-year-old girl sadly now has to have the same awareness of how the male gaze might land on her as a woman of 20, 25,” she said.

“It's uncomfortable at that age having to deal with it, let alone when you're five and six."

Mr Jarvis said he did not wish to comment further on the policy, which will be implemented in September to give parents ample time to purchase new clothing.