School bans skirts in new 'gender-neutral' uniform policy to stop girls 'abusing' rules

11 June 2022, 22:33 | Updated: 11 June 2022, 22:35

From September all students at Tiverton High School will be required to wear trousers
From September all students at Tiverton High School will be required to wear trousers. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A UK secondary school has scrapped skirts and opted for a "more gender-neutral" uniform for students.

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From September, all students at Tiverton High School will be required to wear trousers after the school implemented uniform "modifications".

Parents were informed of the changes on June 9th with the only exception to the Devon school's new rule being PE sessions.

The new trouser only policy was announced by the school in a bid to make uniform "more gender-neutral" but also to stop girls wearing skirts that are shorter than knee length.

As well as implementing the change to have a more gender-neutral uniform, it was also announced due to a persistent problem of girls wearing their skirts shorter than knee length.

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Sammy Crook, the school's headmistress, said: "We will follow other secondary schools in implementing a more gender-neutral uniform policy.

"Parents/carers will be pleased to know that the majority of the uniform will remain as it is, with the exception that from September all students will be expected to wear trousers."

Adding: "We never take decisions like this lightly and go through a detailed process over time in order to come to the right conclusions for our students and the school.

"This change to uniform policy has the approval of our governors, and balances the demands placed on us in matters including standards of education, parental cost, inclusivity and student health."

The headmistress said it was "frustrating" and "time consuming" to enforce the school skirt length policy which was being "abused" by girls and had "attracted many complaints from the public and from visitors to the school".

Ms Crook added that she believed: "Trousers also standardise how our students dress, so that we and they can focus on what we consider to be our primary objective: learning."

She added that it had become “frustrating” and “time consuming” for staff to keep having to enforce the school’s skirt length policy.

Read more: Met gender neutral uniforms 'pandering to multiple-binary nonsense'

Parents have reacted to the news on social media, with one mother writing: "Ultimately this rule is fundamentally sexist.

"They would never insist that all boys wear skirts, the fact that they can insist that girls wear trousers is purely because they are female and therefore the decision has been made on account of their gender, it strips them of choice and is therefore sexist."

Some questioned whether the trouser rule would also apply to female staff whilst another Facebook user said: "So is the argument about making the school gender neutral or about changing a uniform because the latter is simple but the first is taking away the rights of existing genders to suit others It has far bigger implications.

"Wearing a uniform never eradicated the rich family /poor family outlook so why not have freedom of choice to feel comfortable in your own skin .

"Then there's no need to head it Gender neutral at all. You are all unique in your own ways, whatever path they have chosen.

"I thought it was all about teaching acceptance to be who you chose. Not to push the ways of others onto all."

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