School brings in rules which mean in hot weather boys can wear skirts but not shorts

28 June 2022, 11:18 | Updated: 28 June 2022, 14:25

The school has said pupils can wear skirts in summer.
The school has said pupils can wear skirts in summer. Picture: Alamy/Google Maps

By Emma Soteriou

A secondary school is facing a backlash from parents after introducing new uniform rules which mean boys can wear either trousers or skirts in hot weather - but not shorts.

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The policy change at Wymondham High Academy - based in Norfolk - followed complaints that boys were being forced to wear trousers in the summer months - regardless of the hot weather.

Parents were calling for a relaxation in the rules which would allow boys to wear shorts instead.

However, after a consultation, the school made the controversial decision to bring in a "gender neutral" policy, meaning boys had the choice of only skirts in the summer.

Wymondham High Academy
Wymondham High Academy. Picture: Google Maps

In a letter to students seen by LBC, the school said: "All pupils will have the choice to wear either a grey school skirt or grey school trousers (existing style)."

It added that the gender neutral dress code was "nothing more than ensuring that clothing choices are equal regardless of gender".

The school said the move followed feedback that "the overwhelming majority of respondents felt either that a gender-neutral uniform would either be appropriate, or they had no preference".

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One outraged father told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "The first I heard about this was yesterday morning when I opened my newspaper over breakfast and was absolutely gobsmacked to read that my son will not be allowed to wear shorts and have to wear a skirt on hot days."

He added: "Over the last couple of years they've introduced a same-sex toilet - where the boys and girls share - which I certainly don't agree with.

"These kids are teenagers and their bodies are developing - I don't agree with that whatsoever.

The anonymous father went on to say: "What are they going to do in the winter, woolly tights under these skirts?

"It's absolutely...21st century but this is going one step too far."

He continued: "Everybody is just revolted by it - disgusted - I can't believe they're even considering or suggesting it."

The letter outlined the consultation.
The letter outlined the consultation. Picture: WYMONDHAM HIGH ACADEMY
The headteacher outlined the changes as a result of the consultation
The headteacher outlined the changes as a result of the consultation. Picture: WYMONDHAM HIGH ACADEMY

According to the Eastern Daily Press, the school's headteacher Jonathan Rockey defended the move, saying it was "something we are very proud of" and the school had not ruled out further updates to the uniform in the future.

"Many parents were supportive of us considering a 'summer uniform', which we will consider for 2023-24," he said.

"In the short term, we have enabled pupils to remove their blazers during hot weather.

"Changing everything about our uniform in one go, especially with the current financial concerns, would not be sensible so we are able to stage changes over a period of time."