School skirts ban: St Martin’s in Caerphilly changes uniform

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As reported by BBC news, a head teacher has banned skirts from his school citing “frequent” complaints that they are “far too revealing

In an email to parents at St Martin’s School in Caerphilly, Lee Jarvis said from September both pupils and staff must wear tailored trousers or shorts. The change proved unpopular with some parents, with one describing it as unfair and another saying the secondary school should focus on other issues. Jarvis said he did not want to comment further.

The email to parents at the comprehensive said: “Over the last couple of years our school community has had concerns over the length of some learners’ skirts.

“Staff and learners are included in this and members of the public have frequently contacted the school to complain about what they regard as highly inappropriate and far too revealing attire for the workplace.

“Despite us attempting to educate learners as to appropriate schoolwear 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.

“I felt it was prudent to write to let you know this in plenty of time before we all begin to consider purchasing new uniform for September.”

One mother said: “My daughter is not happy and doesn’t want to wear tailored school trousers.

“I think it’s unfair. Don’t they have other things to worry about after we’ve all come through Covid?”

Another said: “I disagree with this. It should be addressed per child and not penalise the whole school.”

About 980 pupils attend the comprehensive and sixth form school.

Campaign group Let Clothes Be Clothes said on social media: “The skirts are school branded only, so how can they complain they’re not fit for purpose?

“This head is not showing good leadership but allowing unaccountable strangers to police girls and female staff bodies and dress.”

It is not the first time a school has banned skirts – in 2019, bans at both Appleton Academy in Wyke, West Yorkshire, and Stowmarket High School in Suffolk prompted criticism.

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