Girls to be banned from wearing skirts at a Norfolk school - but what do you think?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
2:04 PM

Female pupils at a Norfolk high school will be banned from wearing skirts in a crackdown on “immodest” clothing.

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Governors at Diss High School have agreed that a trouser-only uniform is adopted from September, based on the recommendations of a uniform focus group.

The school’s headteacher Jan Hunt said: “Girls already wear trousers at Diss High School.

“The reason the school is making this compulsory is the tendency for some girls to wear really short skirts. “Hemlines have risen to a level that is both impractical as well as immodest.

“Inevitably, this decision is popular with some parents and not with others. The same responses would be true for pupils. Financial support will be offered to parents to support this transition.”

Other school uniform rows

Diss High School is not the only Norfolk secondary to change its uniform in recent years.

As many former local authority schools make the change over to academies, new smarter uniforms have been brought in by many such as the Downham Market and King’s Lynn academies.

Hethersett Academy, near Norwich, proposed a black blazer, tie and black knee-length skirt for girls and black trousers and a white shirt for boys as it took over the former Hethersett High School last November.

Many parents and pupils have reportedly welcomed the move to smarter uniforms – but some decisions over what pupils wear in lessons have caused more controversy than others.

At Cromer High School in 2011, Martin Clohisey and his wife Libby took their daughter Alice, then 15, out of lessons after three days of negotiations between themselves and the headteacher over whether Alice could wear shortened school trousers.

Mr Clohisey said that after his daughter was told off for rolling up her school trousers in class because she was hot, his wife – a professional seamstress – altered the trousers to knee length so Alice could be more comfortable in lessons during the hot weather.

But the school was not happy about the altered trousers and Alice was taken out of lessons for one-to-one teaching.

In December a Wisbech school apologised after some of its pupils went home or called parents to pick them up in a confusion over uniform.

Thomas Clarkson Academy had a one-day crackdown in a bid to make sure students

were wearing the correct clothing.

If they lived close by and could go home to change then students were allowed to go, said principal Clare Claxton – but some thought it meant they

had to call parents, who were left disgruntled at having to take time off work to get them.

“We are looking for all students to be dressed appropriately,” said Mrs Claxton at the time.

“We don’t want some wearing trendy River Island or New Look items as not all parents can afford those which means it is not fair.”

A year earlier pupils at the Thomas Clarkson Academy were presented with a one minute 15 second video on how to tie a

tie.

The decision to introduce the ban was recommended by a uniform focus group, consisting of governors, pupils and staff, which met during the autumn term.

The review group’s recommendations were then discussed by a meeting of governors, which agreed to the ban along with a number of other proposals, including a ban on make-up for children in years 7-11 and permission to wear black ballet-type shoes.

Boys black school shoes were only deemed acceptable if no logo was available.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “In terms of uniform policy that is not something we administer, it is purely down to the school to make that decision.”

But the decision caused some consternation among shoppers visiting Diss town centre on Tuesday afternoon, with many feeling that pupils should be able to wear skirts of an acceptable length.

To see the policies of Norfolk’s other high schools click here

Teresa Mayston, 56, from Palgrave, said: “It is ridiculous. I think it is silly to ban them at school because it is free choice, isn’t it?

“As long as the skirt is of a certain length then I think they should be able to wear skirts, but unfortunately I think the rules are not being adhered to and some of the skirts are not skirts.”

Alison Moore, 49, from Eye, said: “It seems unfair to me. You are doing something that is penalising girls.”

Zoe Taylor, 44, from Great Moulton, believed in having a strict school uniform policy because children learned the importance of looking smart, which would serve them well during their working life.

She added: “I like girls to look like girls. I like the feminine side of wearing a skirt as part of a uniform. I used to have the trouser option, but I always chose the skirt because it is more feminine.

“Unfortunately, the way children wear uniforms nowadays is inappropriate. I am not sure how I would enforce having a certain length of skirt that had to be adhered to.”

Amber Ervine, 26, from Scole, said: “I don’t know if I necessarily agree with it, but I see these teenage girls walking round with tiny skirts, but then I don’t know if you can ban them from wearing them.”

And another Diss resident, Jane Brown, said: “I think they should be able to wear skirts so long as they are not really short. I would restrict the length of them so they looked respectable.”

Do you agree with the ban on pupils wearing skirts? Email dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk or write to EDP letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email edpletters@archant.co.uk giving your full name and address.

41 comments

  • Enforce the school rules! period !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Why can't we ban banning things! One day people will turn around and say "Didn't we used to live in a free society?"

    Report this comment

    Shirley Banester

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Is that what they call those twelve inch bands of grey polyester? I did wonder.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I trust boys can still wear a skirt if they wish.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • School is on a hiding to nothing enforcing uniform policy if the parents don't support it. Didn't realise rickets was rampant in Norfolk and all because of not wearing a skirt! A strict dress policy levels the playing field and avoids competition re designer brands.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • George, I wonder what do about girls who like to cross-dress.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Why can't we ban banning things! One day people will turn around and say "Didn't we used to live in a free society?"

    Report this comment

    Shirley Banester

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • What is going on with the education sector?! All they seem to worry about is what people are wearing instead of what they are actually learning! I think if a school is that strict on children wearing a strict uniform then the teachers should comply Aswell if a teacher is allowed to wear 'sandals' then they don't give a good example being set to children! I for one have never had a good figure & if I was told I HAD to wear a skirt I personally wouldn't go with it it's upto a person what they are comfortable wearing, how does a pair of plimsoles effect how a child's brain work?! Pathetic!!!

    Report this comment

    Lucieloo12

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Completely agree Shirley Banester. We have a prescriptive society where we have to ban everything that we don't think is good. And if we are to keep everybody, every minority group etc happy .. there will be nothing left to ban. Then we ban banning.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • This really isn't anything new! Back in the 70's when I was at High School, mini dresses were the fashion and I can remember lots of girls wearing extremely short skirts, including the Grammar School I attended. It's a passing phase, like all fashions & as always with youngsters, if you try to control it, it'll make them all the more determined. It really doesn't matter how short the skirts are (although I do agree with school uniform). What really matters is the education the youngsters are getting.

    Report this comment

    Janice G

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Some schools ban skirts to stop boys from cross-dressing.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Reader: not just saving them from teaching the children, but it is a way of saying "Look, we are doing something .. about something!"

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Shortage of 'news'? Perhaps nowadays with a little effort, absolutely anything can be built up into a really important issue and news story! Surely uniform is a matter for the school; a sense of decency and decorum is something for the parents to instil (if they are interested in their own children); and publicity like this is counter-productive and nonsensical. Why ask shoppers in Diss their opinion, why not ask motorists at motorway services .. or passengers on all trains passing through Diss, then break down the findings by day of the week etc etc? Or the boys at the school .. are they allowed to wear kilts? On religious grounds? What are the girls' parents doing .. don't they have a say in whether their children appear to have little moral sense? In my view the idiocy of all this is highlighted by having a UFG. Yes, too many groups talk, talk, talking ... in the belief and hope that they can achieve perfection in any institution or system. Stop messing about - get on with teaching the children.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Namaste, I agree with you. The question should be whether girls should be allowed to wear knee-length skirts. Skirts of a decent length should not be banned, only those which are too short.

    Report this comment

    la barbe

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I really dont see what the problem is, when i was at school, the girls went on strike, because they werent allowed trousers in the winter, i think the first thing all school children should be banned from, is all mobile phones untill they can hold some sort of conversation and have the manners we were taught, and have to do as their told and not have the do gooders tell us how to bring up kids, i bought 2 up and they say please and thankyou and can hold a conversation with their elders, they are now 23 and 27, they are my pride and joy.

    Report this comment

    Chuncky993

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • They'll be banning the niqab next......but then again!

    Report this comment

    bazzaboy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Yes make them wear trousers and while we are at ban those girlie trusses, ribbons, clips etc, and include hair length in any uniform code.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • So,if they turn up in a skirt will they be expelled like the 6 year old boy who took mini cheddars in his packed lunch.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • A weak head teacher who is unable to enforce the Schools dress code, she should be sacked.

    Report this comment

    Hugh

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Really these management teams at schools are getting above themselves and straying into territory that is over controlling, window dressing and irrelevant-like biscuits in a packed lunch. If a school can't manage to convey to pupils that they need to cover their rears how are they going to manage academic subjects? And so these girls will not have the chance to wear summer frocks the way generations of schoolgirls have and one assumes nor will boys be allowed short trousers. All because schools put appearances before performance these days. If they can manage without school uniform in state schools in the USA why not here? I know all the arguments for uniform, and went through termly uniform inspection with conduct marks for transgressions but that was at a good school, not some jumped up comp. or academy aping a grammar school whilst using unqualified staff or siphoning money into management wages.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • "believed in having a strict school uniform policy because children learned the importance of looking smart," Rubbish!! all they 'learn' is that they must obey and that their own thoughts and opinions (choice) count for nothing,

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Wow-someone at the EDP got a kid at Diss school- or a finger in an academy pie? Because they dont seem to want my comment about tin pot schools being obsessed with uniform whilst at the same time using unqualified staff-priorities and all that, Nor the opinion that if a school cant convey to kids what is acceptable in uniform how are they going to get anything else across. Nor the opinion that to many SLTs are exceeding an acceptable level of interference in the lives of children-eg what they may eat . I regret for these girls that they wont be allowed to wear summer frocks when it is hot ( nor the shorts for the boys) No wonder kids are getting rickets if paranoid puritan schools are making them cover up almost completely

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • my classmate's half-sister makes $84 hr on the laptop . She has been without work for 7 months but last month her income was $14181 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to website,,,,,,,, W­W­W.2­3­J­O­B­S.C­o­M

    Report this comment

    Cunhari Beiro

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • As someone who in in the dark days of 50s and 609s Britain, didnt wear a uniform at school I find it hard to understand why British schools are so obsessed with it, Kids in Europe and States seem to be much better educated than many of ours and they dont wear any uniform .Also many of them dress better when they leave school than the scruffy British,.Its not just schools British supermarkets, banks etc, all seem obessed with puting their staff into uniforms, in Europe noone bothers, Noone who works in commerce needs to wear a uniform, its unecessary and ridiculous, Worry about teaching children properly not about whether they are wearing short skirts. Strange how times change, when i was 15 and went to Lowesott College girls were sent home for wearing trousers,!

    Report this comment

    june muskett

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Cunhari Beiro. Ah! Lap TOP. Just re-read your post..... When I was in school we all had to wear trousers. But then it was an all boys school.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • "Immodest" is one way of putting it. It goes round in cycles, and currently there seems to be a race to see who can get away with showing their underwear first. The schools don't need to bad skirts, just enforce the uniform rules that they already have. If children were sent home for not wearing the correct uniform, and the parents fined, they'd soon conform.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Yes indeed, seperating gender by dress is "Old Fashion" and Victorian, trousers are better suited to todays equal education standards.

    Report this comment

    OLDYELLA

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • That's pretty impressive Cunhari, but how long is her skirt ?

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • This must be an important topic today as it has made the top half of the Daily Mail website too!!

    Report this comment

    luanmapo

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Reader: not just saving them from teaching the children, but it is a way of saying "Look, we are doing something .. about something!"

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • seems to me so many schools worry more about what the children are wearing rather than providing an actual education; does wearing a short skirt, or shorts, somehow prevent the child from learning...?, is that not after all what they supposed to there for ......? our local high school will not allow the boys to wear shorts in the height of summer, absolutely ridiculous, sod their education, sweating it out and feeling uncomfortable has a higher priority!

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Surely there is a bit of a message which goes "When you go out into the world, there are times when you need to follow other peoples rules whether you agree with them or not." Sounds like a better lesson than "Lets do what we want and get our parents to back us up."

    Report this comment

    TheTruth

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I agree some changes do need to be made. I was at school when the mini came in 1960's but we still wore knee length skirts to school and followed fashion outside school. I think there should still be a choice, trousers or skirts, but the length should be determined as it would be by many reputable companies who have a dress code.

    Report this comment

    namaste

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Shortage of 'news'? Perhaps nowadays with a little effort, absolutely anything can be built up into a really important issue and news story! Surely uniform is a matter for the school; a sense of decency and decorum is something for the parents to instil (if they are interested in their own children); and publicity like this is counter-productive and nonsensical. Why ask shoppers in Diss their opinion, why not ask motorists at motorway services .. or passengers on all trains passing through Diss, then break down the findings by day of the week etc etc? Or the boys at the school .. are they allowed to wear kilts? On religious grounds? What are the girls' parents doing .. don't they have a say in whether their children appear to have little moral sense? In my view the idiocy of all this is highlighted by having a UFG. Yes, too many groups talk, talk, talking ... in the belief and hope that they can achieve perfection in any institution or system. Stop messing about - get on with teaching the children.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I suppose worrying about hemlines saves them from actually thinking about educating the children .just who is it they are afraid of offending anyway? Girls have always raised hemlines when they leave home it's practically a tradition . Is it a certain element of the religious community they are trying to placate?

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Patrick. So true

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Moralising Gove fanatics wonder why schools get bad results, then turn around and moralise some more. Why not use the knees as a ball point? anything higher and you are sent home, it would take one year for this to work. What next, work houses? stopping boys wearing speedo's because they look too tight in the swimming pool? This is the reality of 21st century Britain and they even find supporters for 18th century Victorian guff.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • This must be an important topic today as it has made the top half of the Daily Mail website too!!

    Report this comment

    luanmapo

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • What is going on with the education sector?! All they seem to worry about is what people are wearing instead of what they are actually learning! I think if a school is that strict on children wearing a strict uniform then the teachers should comply Aswell if a teacher is allowed to wear 'sandals' then they don't give a good example being set to children! I for one have never had a good figure & if I was told I HAD to wear a skirt I personally wouldn't go with it it's upto a person what they are comfortable wearing, how does a pair of plimsoles effect how a child's brain work?! Pathetic!!!

    Report this comment

    Lucieloo12

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • All those years ago when I went to school there was a simple rule. If a girls skirt was considered to short - simple, ask her to kneel and if the skirt didn't touch the floor - too short. Oh for some commonsense these days - or has it been done away with?

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Unfortunately schools can't win whatever they try and do. Pupils have always tried to push the boundaries of uniform rules; I remember our school having a rule regarding skirt length and it was almost a game to try girls and find ways around it, but if they were caught, so be it. However, a major difference these days is that parents don't back the school but side with their children which is quite frankly unhelpful and just encourages children to think they can do whatever they like. I am shocked that people would remove their child from a school rather than adhere to uniform policy. This issue does have a knock on effect when young people enter the work place, some of them are dressed entirely inappropriately, looking more like they're going clubbing rather than going to work.

    Report this comment

    Row71

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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