THE GROWING trend of banning skirts in secondary schools has arrived in south Northants.
From the beginning of this school year Elizabeth Woodville School starting phasing out skirts with a full ban from next September.
Head teacher Pamela Hutchison said: “It was primarily in response to parents and their frustration, often at their own children. They’d see them leave home looking respectable, but would roll up their skirts so they were not respectable.”
Mrs Hutchison said as a specialist business college they encouraged students to dress smartly to feel smart and that the time of teaching staff was being wasted by them having to enforce rules on length of skirts.
The decision was made by the school’s governing body, including parents and members of the community, who were also concerned about young people mimicking their celebrity idols and the early sexualisation of young teenagers.
Mrs Hutchison added: “Sexualisation was one of the concerns from the governing body, with short and often tight skirts.”
But a parent, who asked not to be named, said it is a growing and disturbing trend. She refers to a website (www.shoolsskirtban.com) which is monitoring the spread of the skirt ban, the first of which was seen in 2004.
There are currently 41 schools in the country which have introduced the ban, up from 27 since July 2011.
She said: “Were a company to threaten to sack female office staff for wearing skirts, it would lay itself open to prosecution for indirect sexual discrimination. Why should female pupils not be similarly protected?”