To think that this 6th Form Dress Code is wrong.

(237 Posts)
alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:30:34

DD1's 6th Form has a strict dress code of business/office wear. They have to look smart - which is fine.

This week it's been really hot, yesterday DD1 wore 'bare legs' with her very modest skirt suit. She got told off - initially for wearing flesh coloured tights (tights should be black) and was referred to the dress code which she brought home for me to read.

It contains this line:

"This is a mixed environment with particular implications for the way in which female students should dress."

AIBU to complain about this statement?

Hullygully Thu 05-Sep-13 18:32:11

No of course you're not.

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:33:33

I'm feeling the rage you see Hully, and didn't know if the red mist had made me all unreasonable.

catgirl1976 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:34:31


So there are no "implications" for the way male students should dress?

Awful statement.

Complain vociferously.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Sep-13 18:35:16

Bloody hell angry shock.

Send her in a chador.

Dawndonnaagain Thu 05-Sep-13 18:35:35

There is no dress code at my dds sixth form, but I'd be shouting the odds if there were and that sentence were in it!

burberryqueen Thu 05-Sep-13 18:35:51

wtf is that supposed to mean then?
reminds me of deputy head to a girl who was being sexually harassed 'perhaps you should wear a looser shirt then'. Even DS 14 was gobsmacked.

Ezio Thu 05-Sep-13 18:36:30

WTF does that actually mean, your DD might have offended people of other religions?

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:36:54

i'm composing an email which suggests that they either remove that statement or add one about male students controlling themselves around legs that are leg coloured, or something.

I need help with this email, I've drafted several ranty ones.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Sep-13 18:37:07

A summer dress with bare legs and no sleeves would be appropriate office wear in this weather.

Hullygully Thu 05-Sep-13 18:37:58

They've introduced bloody suits at my dc's school, and we all know it's because the girls were coming to school in their underwear with giant heels. But at least they haven't mentioned "implications"

Bonsoir Thu 05-Sep-13 18:38:05

Remind the school that it is in the UK not Saudi Arabia.

Ezio Thu 05-Sep-13 18:38:15

I would add in it, that is sounds like a very rape-apologist statement too.

How people insulting.

Ezio Thu 05-Sep-13 18:38:41

=bloody, so annoyed im getting it wrong.

MrsGarlic Thu 05-Sep-13 18:39:43

That is outrageous. I would definitely complain.

merrymouse Thu 05-Sep-13 18:39:56

Wow. black tights in summer is just plain odd.

Hullygully Thu 05-Sep-13 18:39:59

I fought the introduction of suits (hopelessly), and said that if the kids came dressed inappropriately (of either gender) they just send them home. The head of 6th form, actually quite a nice person, said they had to spend far too much teaching time on appearance.

No one cared when I were a lass. I went to school in stilettos and fishnets.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 05-Sep-13 18:40:02

That's appalling, and I'd certainly be making some vociferous complaints.

DeathByTray Thu 05-Sep-13 18:41:53

You might need to send your complaint on a scroll, sealed with wax and by messenger on horseback as I think we have just slipped back in time.

Leg coloured legs, whatever next !

littlewhitebag Thu 05-Sep-13 18:42:14

They wear suits in my DD's school for sixth form. They are allowed to wear nude coloured tights and i have never seen a statement about 'implications' issued. Very bizarre indeed.

Rufus43 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:43:29

YANBU, we had a similar letter from our senior school

It said something along the lines of " so the girls don't have to deal with unwanted attention". I did get angry but decided that as my daughter hadn't even started yet that I ought to wait and see if that's the ethos of the school or just a badly worded letter

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:43:56

I work in an office and often have bare legs. Didn't know there were implications. What are the implications anyway?!

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Sep-13 18:45:27

Surely if the attire is unsuitable for sixth form, then it is unsuitable for sixth form, regardless of whether any males happen to be in the area or not.

Otherwise it's suggesting that the only reason that inappropriate attire is inappropriate is because blokes may become overexcited.

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:45:29

Rufus, was there any statement about boys being respectful etc? I suspect not.

It is like the 'she was asking for it' train of thought.

wonkylegs Thu 05-Sep-13 18:47:23

I'd be fuming and demanding that the school looks at the wording of it's policies.
I've no problem with office/ business wear for 6th formers but it should be overseen sensibly and equally.
The policy wording is at best frankly misguided and poorly phased at worst absolutely bloody unforgivable.
Schools should be teaching solid values of equality and responsibility not perpetuating sexist claptrap.
I'm so angry I can't put it in words, attitudes like this are the reason many girls do not report assault/harassment angry

lagertops Thu 05-Sep-13 18:48:35

I would also like to know about these seemingly deserved implications, it sounds like a threat if you turn up to school with 'leg coloured legs' as DeathByTray excellently put it.

MrsHoratioNelson Thu 05-Sep-13 18:49:02

Well, I work in a traditionally professional office and I have always felt that bare legs are inappropriate. But apparently I am old fashioned.

Even so, nude rights is completely appropriate - and, to my mind, actually more appropriate in this weather when whatever else they're wearing is likely to look odd with black tights.

EduCated Thu 05-Sep-13 18:49:46

Bloody hell. In my very large organisation wot I work for its perfectly normal to go bare legged. Who the hell wears black tights in the summer?!

And that's without the vile and ridiculous statement.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 05-Sep-13 18:52:30

Oh, I would be all over this in a flash. Very objectionable. And definitely use this phrase: male students controlling themselves around legs that are leg coloured.

NadiaWadia Thu 05-Sep-13 18:52:37

Considering the stereotype of teachers is that they are all Guardian reading and ultra-PC, I am amazed at the antiquated twattishness of this attitude. Complain away and if no joy escalate it to LEA level.

Yonihadtoask Thu 05-Sep-13 18:54:15


So American Tan tights are a no go ?

what a load of bollocks.

OP YWNBU to complain. Not at all.

NadiaWadia Thu 05-Sep-13 18:55:17

And all this 'business dress' for 6th form students is bloody stupid anyway. Once they get to university they'll all be in jeans anyway. They are in 6th form to study, not arrange international mergers, etc.

SoupDragon Thu 05-Sep-13 18:55:37

So there are no "implications" for the way male students should dress?

Well, I'm not sure there are really. I've never seen a male student dressed in something short, tight and inappropriate for a learning environment. I guess the equivalent is those ridiculous low sling trousers but I don't think I've seen male students try that one in the same way the females seem to hitch their skirts up.

However, the phrase you quote is crap and has no place in the dress code. I would be complaining about it.

forevergreek Thu 05-Sep-13 18:58:25

I remember having no dress code at 6th form and half the year wore pyjamas most days smile ( very successful school/ top grades achieved from wearing pjs and slippers)

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:01:05

I understand about wanting people to look smart and professional. I was aware of the dress code ( in a general sense) and supported it. The emphasis on female students and the wording is what I'm riled about.

MaureenMLove Thu 05-Sep-13 19:03:20

I take it every member of the teaching staff and admin staff are also wearing black tights??

Bloody ridicuous! DDs 6th form had a dress code a bit like that. She had to wear a blouse with a collar or a dress every day. She was a bloody art student and spent all day in the art rooms getting messy!

foslady Thu 05-Sep-13 19:06:54


I'd be going ballistic. What a crappy attitude they are instilling into the boys in that one sentence - as well as the girls. I also think it's an insult to the intelligence of both sexes that they think they should accept this statement.

valiumredhead Thu 05-Sep-13 19:08:48

Bare legs are appropriate in this weather.

The other stuff is nonsense-complain!

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Thu 05-Sep-13 19:12:31

I would be fuming as well!

The wording is just plain wrong, not to mention the dress code!

I work for a very conservative company with a dress code to suit, and even they allow bare legs in the summer! To put it into context, we are not allowed sleeveless tops or anything above the knee, etc. so really very conservative still!

I wore opaque tights today (which was hell) but its proper business dress.

They should change the dress code to all tights IMO - nothing wrong with nude ones.

I don't think bare legs is business attire - I'm in a school.

cherry219 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:17:16

Add this link to your complaint, it's been doing the rounds today:

YANBU, it's a disgusting phrase.

MortifiedAdams Thu 05-Sep-13 19:17:45

Why didnt they just say

Girls - dress trousers or smart skirt with black tights
Boys - dress trousers

Why even put anythig else?!

Anthracite Thu 05-Sep-13 19:18:23

I would love my DD's sixth form to have a "suit" dress code.

I wanted to poke needles in my eyeballs in New Look and H&M last week.

Pachacuti Thu 05-Sep-13 19:19:27

The wording is just wrong and inappropriate to begin with.

But applying it to "no bare legs even below the knee" takes it to new heights of ludicrousness.

We were always allowed bare legs when I worked in an office environment.

Ezio Thu 05-Sep-13 19:19:35

What the heck is wrong with bare legs, i dont get it, they arent sexual or offensive imo.

Its just weird, to think that women cant bare there legs a bit without it being offensive or inappropriate.

sassytheFIRST Thu 05-Sep-13 19:19:54

I've been in a dress with bare legs and flip flops the last couple of days. I'm a teacher. If anyone had suggested that my attire was not quite smart enough, I'd have accepted the point (though pointed at the several beardy, tweed jacketed chaps who might just about constitute appropriate if their stuff weren't so ancient...) BUT if I'd been told my clothing was wrong because the males in my vicinity struggle to control themselves around bare legs, I'd have been V Cross Indeed.

notimetotidy Thu 05-Sep-13 19:22:42

Why do they not have a school uniform in the Sixth Form? Surely that would make more sense.

Also have to wear close toed shoes in our school.

The 40 denier tights and closed shoes were pretty horrible for me today.

NoComet Thu 05-Sep-13 19:27:00

Tights in hot weather are sodding unpleasant and unhealthy.

DD1 Y10 got very uncomfortable and resorted to black ankle socks (her shoes aren't comfortable without socks, i thought she'd get teased, but she wasn't the only one by the end of last term) DD2 has brogues, so could wear trainer liners.

Plenty of women go to work with bare legs or in linen trousers in summer, many wear sandals, which also offend schools for some ridiculous reason.

merrymouse Thu 05-Sep-13 19:28:05

Wouldn't it be more comfortable to wear light weight trousers rather than tights?

Rufus43 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:28:31

alistron1 I had a massive ran on a night out on Friday saying exactly the same thing, no mention of boys giving the unwanted attention

And then to person I was talking to said "when I drive past I see all the men staring" so why should my daughter modify her dress!

merrymouse Thu 05-Sep-13 19:31:59

Also, presumably the rest of the school is allowed to wear socks and bare legs?

What do they do if they play netball?

diddl Thu 05-Sep-13 19:35:12

All else aside-why black tights & not just tights?

Black tights with a summer dress/skirt-lovely!hmm

I'm 50 & we didn't have a dress code for the 6th form-seems ridiculous to me.

Actually, I think we were supposed to be smart.

A lot of us wore a skirt for the first couple of days-mine was denim-& then it was into the jeans-skinny iirc.

Nothing changes, does it?

OP - That's outrageous. You need to complain and show them that link above from cherry219 (thank you btw - that is one of the best things I've read on the subject).

Complete non-issue but black tights are NOT more businesslike than beige/tan/skin/whatever you choose to call it. When I worked in the "City" it was sheer beige tights every day. Coloured or black tights were a no-no. I wore trouser suits sometimes (navy, gray or black only) and even that was revolutionary.

Just as strict for men though - black, navy or gray suit, black shoes with laces. Never brown shoes. Never slip ons or buckles or penny loafers.

This was all unwritten and largely unspoken although it was - god - 20 years ago!

YoniMatopoeia Thu 05-Sep-13 19:40:03

Dh says they obviously have low opinion of the male students then.

It is outrageous. Do challenge it.

grumpyoldbat Thu 05-Sep-13 19:44:23

There's nothing wrong with flesh coloured tights. I used to wear them to work. I now tend to wear trousers though.

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:45:43

Cherry - thank you for that link smile

I've got to challenge this haven't I?

eurochick Thu 05-Sep-13 19:47:46

I'm bare legged at my law firm today. It is a (very) mixed environment. I don't appear to have given anyone the vapours yet...

archfiend Thu 05-Sep-13 19:49:55

That is bloody awful! We had a similar dress code when I was at sixth form mumble mumble years ago. I once got told off for 'provoking young boys' whilst wearing a short skirt; when I wore I long skirt I was told off for being a fire hazard so I couldn't bloody win! grin

ZeroTolerance Thu 05-Sep-13 19:53:08

I don't like that link at all. The author sounds a bit creepy himself. FGS, will he have the same discussion with his daughter? Or are girls so lacking in sexual desires they never look at boys in that way?

I particularly cringed at the idea that "women's bodies are beautiful, wonderful and mysterious". Ha ha. Seriously? What exactly is this guy's agenda?

Bit anyway, with regards the OP, you definitely need to take the school to task over that statement.

littlemisswise Thu 05-Sep-13 19:56:08

The statement is obviously ridiculous and I would challenge it.

I don't actually see a problem with them saying the girls should wear tights tbh. For all those saying it is uncomfortable in this weather, imagine just how uncomfortable the boys are in suit trousers.

I would like to see some sort of dress code at DS2's 6th form. When I dropped him off yesterday there were boys with horrible slogans on t-shirts, boxers on show and girls with their arse cheeks hanging out of the bottom of their shorts!

CHJR Thu 05-Sep-13 20:00:53

OP's school's message sounds just like RL, implying women should think of others in how they dress.
Totally unacceptable; aren't they supposed to be making our DD feel secure and free, and setting a good example to our DS?
Even if you have to give in to school make sure DD knows you disagree. (Believe me, that's not something I'd say lightly!)

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 20:03:40

The school were very, very silly to put that DEEPLY SEXIST phrase into their parents' evening powerpoint which is very easy to find online .....

specific mentions of cleavage and midriffs ....

missmapp Thu 05-Sep-13 20:03:43

I am a teacher and I had bare legs with a modest skirt today, nobody questioned the 'implications' this would cause to my male students!!

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 05-Sep-13 20:04:04

I worked somewhere where bare legs were "frowned upon". Ridiculous! hmm

ZeroTolerance Thu 05-Sep-13 20:04:54

good point littlemiss, there are often threads on here objecting to being told to cover shoulders/legs in the office - but men always have to abide by these rules, don't they? In offices I mean.

School's statement is still completely out of order - and sexist.

littlemisswise Thu 05-Sep-13 20:06:46

I just mentioned this to DS2 and he said he would challenge that statement if he went to that Sixth form. It's disgusting to think so little of the male students.

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 20:06:47

This is a mixed environment, with particular implications for the way in which female students should dress. As such, cleavage, midriffs and underwear should not be on show; trousers and skirts should not be inappropriately tight; skirts should not be worn higher than mid-thigh and tights should not be flesh-coloured.

lifted directly from the powerpoint

I'll not name the school, but that powerpoint is so up itself its actually funny

burberryqueen Thu 05-Sep-13 20:09:39

ah go on go on go on

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 20:10:30

google the phrase in inverted commas .....

Vivacia Thu 05-Sep-13 20:12:04

I would send a brief email saying that you support the dress code in principle. However, you would like clarification on this part and a bit more detail about what the implications are a) due to it being a mixed environment and b) for the way females dress.

Keep it very polite and just asking for detail.

Vivacia Thu 05-Sep-13 20:13:59

I think we should be careful not to identify the OP and her daughter everybody

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 20:15:29

I will not.
But I am shocked that a school in the British Isles thinks such language is appropriate in 2013.

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 05-Sep-13 20:27:25

I imagine that the boys would not be allowed to wear shorts, so expecting the girls to keep the legs covered seems perfectly reasonable to me, if you're treating the sexes equally. But insisting on black tights is not appropriate. That is just not smart, modest, business attire.

And the phrase about considering the implications if their dress has no place in a dress code. That is for discussion in a PSHCE class (or whatever its alphabet soup name is).

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:29:30

oh god, don't out the school!! (yet!) I've sent the head and head of 6th form a very calm email.

I started with supporting the school aims, went on to identify the statement, asked for the statement to be removed OR for an additional statement to be included reminding male students to be respectful of the fact that female students/women may dress in such a way as to identify their gender.

I expressed disappointment that a school that strived for the highest of standards had used the statement, and quoted from the school ethos regarding equality and respect.

I shall await a response.

orangeandemons Thu 05-Sep-13 20:32:09

Why do they have to wear these anyway?

My Y13's were all in vest and jeans today. They all did fantastic at AS. Would wearing stupid tights make them work any harder?hmm

littlemisswise Thu 05-Sep-13 20:33:09

I just read the statement to DS1(18). He said it could have 2 meanings.

1) the school thinks very little of their male students.

2) the school thinks very little of their male teachers and employees.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 05-Sep-13 20:33:24

I wear "flesh coloured tights" most days to my rather formal office, and have yet to see any "implications"...

OP, YANBU at all. I sincerely hope that this is just a poorly thought through statement, when what they meant to say is something like " we expect high standards of dress and will send home any student who we judge is inappropriately attired. This will include students wearing tight or revealing clothing. In very hot weather students may have bare legs and remove their ties, but at all other times the formal dress code must be followed."

Otherwise they may as well ask female students to wear a burkha

DoJo Thu 05-Sep-13 20:35:45

It's particularly ridiculous given that most schools still seem to have a PE uniform which is barely there for girls (or perhaps just the ones near me) where they are basically wearing a pair of coloured pants to run around in. I had a similar row when I was at school that I had to wear tights all day, but then wasn't allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms for games. Didn't work, but I would have hoped things would have moved on by now...

sittinginthesun Thu 05-Sep-13 20:42:10

I know we've find this a million times on here, but I work in a law firm, and I've been bare legged since end July.

My DH is a lawyer, in house, in large international City company. He hasn't worn a tie for weeks. His female colleagues vary from tights, trousers, to bare legs.

I watch the local 6 form walk to school, and their "smart office wear" looks hugely out of place. Surely they are training to be "students" anyway.

merrymouse Thu 05-Sep-13 20:42:23

Are 16/17/18 year old boys generally distracted by flesh coloured tights in 2013?

pointythings Thu 05-Sep-13 20:46:55

I hate the whole business dress in 6th form anyway. When they go to university they will slob around in jeans, and after that they will get jobs and adapt to whatever is needed in their work environment. These are 6th formers, they are supposed to be intelligent enough not to need 'preparing for the world of work'. Patronising bullshit.

DD1's school has no uniform for 6th formers - they suggest business dress but it is not mandatory, nor is it defined. The only things not allowed are ripped denim and T-shirts with slogans.

In practice if you want to be a prefect you should wear the drone suit, but most people don't bother. And quite right too.

I work in an office. We are all female, and no-one was wearing tights because we are not insane, and nor are the people who employ us.

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:47:35

In 1990 when I was a 6th former flesh coloured tights were social death!

AlyssB Thu 05-Sep-13 20:51:01

I work in an office in a very male orientated warehouse and am often on the shop floor in bare legs or nude tights and have yet to experience any 'implications'.....

Ezio Thu 05-Sep-13 20:51:22

I was in 6th form, in 2000, you could wear what you pleased, people still did well.

foslady Thu 05-Sep-13 20:51:54

Actually the more I think about it, the more i would be asking the school for clarification on what their statement meant? If they were implying that such things as nude colour tights are implying the sexualisation of their female pupils, maybe they should be offering training for staff and pupils about the equality of women in modern society.

alistron1 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:56:59

I have asked for clarification - I'll be interested to see the response. Wish I had included the thing about staff/student training.

sarahtigh Thu 05-Sep-13 20:57:05

bare legs maybe ok with trousers or very long skirt dress but I do not think bare legs with an above knee skirt is business attire though really can't see the objection to nude/ beige tights the comment about girls and appropriateness was out of order

if they had just said bare legs with skirt suits is not business dress it would have been ok

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 05-Sep-13 20:58:47

At my school there were two concessions for 6th form: flesh coloured tights (instead of beige socks) and a regulation cardigan instead of a jumper. [Grin]

The girls jumping on dd's school bus this morning looked lovely in their business suits and bare legs (convent). Aren't black tights sexy any more then?

Tries to wipe vision of hully in fishnets and stilletoes(sp?) from mind - keeps smiling grin

OhDearNigel Thu 05-Sep-13 20:59:58

Blimey. If the royal family are able to go out with leg-coloured legs then surely the rest of the country can follow suit.
Unless, of course, we're all confused and OP's teen daughter acually attends 6th form in Riyadh...

Jengnr Thu 05-Sep-13 21:02:54

The first thing I'd be asking is for them to spell out, in writing, EXACTLY what these implications are.

Then I'd be onto Everyday Sexism for advice.

ShadowSummer Thu 05-Sep-13 21:03:06

The wording of the school's statement seems odd. What exactly is a mixed environment, anyway?

Incidentally, the dress code in my office requires employees to dress professionally. Flesh coloured tights are considered acceptable items of clothing, despite most of the employees being male.

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 21:03:22

TBH Op, I looked up the quote because I thought you were a friend of mine talking about her DDs school which has a similar - but less sexist 6th form dress code.
Girls .... Tights should always be worn and be in good condition etc
Boys .... Dark suits should be worn at all times etc

bsc Thu 05-Sep-13 21:03:54

I am someone who believes legs should not be bare in a professional environment... but nude tights are perfectly acceptable!

But that statement is downright wrong.

It is perfectly acceptable to place at the top/bottom of the page "dress should be modest, as befits a working environment" etc etc, i.e. applying to pupils of both genders, but not to single out the females in this way.

I do think 6th forms should have dress codes- it's very annoying to spend large parts of one's day seeing people's underwear (through their backless tops, and their see-through bloody vile leggings, or over their jeans-around-their-ankles!)

I do not wish to see children's underwear, thank you very much (I see enough of my own DC's hmm No DS, I do not want to wipe your bottom for you <sigh>)

bsc Thu 05-Sep-13 21:05:19

And, I presume they mention the 'mixed environment' because it actually used to be single sex school.

NadiaWadia Thu 05-Sep-13 21:11:48

I am glad that DD's last school (year 10-13) only had one 'dress code': beach wear and T shirts with offensive slogans not allowed. Otherwise they could wear anything.

The school got the best A level results in the county, so that shows how ridiculous it is to get so worked about what teenagers wear while they are at school. It's funny that in most countries in Europe school uniform is unheard of, and yet don't they get better results than in the UK?

StuntGirl Thu 05-Sep-13 21:13:37

Good grief. What century was this written in?

What a strange thing to say.

I have worked in loads of offices and can't think of one where the men wore ties and the women had to be dressed to an equivalent level of formality. And most offices are air conditioned whereas most schools aren't. Thinking about the implications of tights in this weather makes me think of thrush confused.

We wore whatever we wanted in 6th form and it really didn't do any harm. I do remember an assembly announcement which basically said "it's cold, you might want to wear longer skirts"grin.

5madthings Thu 05-Sep-13 21:19:11

fucking hell i would be having a fit at that.

totally innappropriate!

they need pulling up on that.

oh and trousers/tights for whoever saud poor boys... well trousers at least allow air to circulate, they are looser and if cotton then cooler. tights are awful in hot weather.

bare legs is fine.

firefly78 Thu 05-Sep-13 21:22:42

Kids have to wear suits to sixth form?? That is absolutely crazy. When did that start happening?

BasilBabyEater Thu 05-Sep-13 21:25:53

Everyday Sexism.

Send it to them.

This sort of shit has got to go.

foslady Thu 05-Sep-13 21:26:42

I would also be tempted to add about the health risks of tight fitting nylon clothes in hot weather

foslady Thu 05-Sep-13 21:27:23

Same thought breatheslowly!

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 21:29:45

I have bare legs at work every day (officey traditional environment with some client facing stuff) and it's perfectly normal.

I don't really understand what is the difference between bare legs and sheer tights - what's the point - and on someone like me it = discomfort, sweat and probably thrush. As it will = for some of these poor 6th formers.


You did the right thing writing to them about it.

Apart from anything else, and IME, the most important thing in a workplace is can you do your job and actually are you really good at it, and as long as you are "office smart" then it's all good. This is surely telling the girls that what they look like will impact how they get on at work. Which is an atrocious message. Do men get that message? Hmm? What about the ones who spend hours on their hair and wear form fitting shirts and stuff hmm? No?...

MammaTJ Thu 05-Sep-13 21:38:45

Do ask if women were raped, would it be their fault for not wearing a chastity belt. That is, after all, the logical conclusion!

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 05-Sep-13 21:53:51

Something else just ocurred to me; human flesh comes in lots of different colors, including black.

quoteunquote Thu 05-Sep-13 22:32:50

Is this a state school or collage?

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 22:34:17

Yup true scones.

There are lots of people on here who have said that bare legs are inappropriate in work but sheer tights OK. Can I ask your thinking on that?

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 22:34:55

Oh not your thinking on that, scones, I meant the people who said it!

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 22:35:23

OPs is state - but the other one I looked up is private.
Suits in 6th form is not unique.
The sexism is the real problem ...

utreas Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:32

The statement is appalling and should be abolished. However nowhere I have ever worked would find bare legs or flesh coloured tights acceptable business attire so they are entitled to object to students dressing like that.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 05-Sep-13 22:56:12

I am careful about using the word misogyny because it includes the notion of hatred, but the more I think about this the more I think it fits here. The "particular implications" smacks of the idea that femaleness, especially female sexuality, is somehow intrinsically fraught with peril for those who encounter it. This policy and the way it is stated is just so deeply offensive.

EduCated Thu 05-Sep-13 22:59:29

I really am amazed at people saying bare legs are not ok/would be frowned on in their place of work. Genuinely, it's not something I've ever given a second thought to! Especially where flesh coloured tights wouldn't be acceptable.

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 23:02:22

Where have you worked, utreas, out of interest?

I have worked in a range of jobs from retail and private/public sector through to traditional office/client facing and in none of them flesh coloured tights been out of line. I can't think there would be probs with bare legs looking back, even in retail, and there's no prob with that in my current role.

Do you mean everywhere you have worked, if you were wearing a skirt, you had to wear black tights? Or what colour? Thick ones? Am interested to learn what industries / roles & what sort of tights were OK!

utreas Thu 05-Sep-13 23:04:05

NiceTabard- Its always been black tights wherever I have ever worked (accountancy and PR)

grumpyoldbat Thu 05-Sep-13 23:05:10

Nowhere I have ever worked has objected to flesh coloured tights. More unusual colours such as green or purple were frowned upon. One place even mentioned that we should wear flesh coloured tights.

DulcetMoans Thu 05-Sep-13 23:07:44

WTactualF! Yes, complain and complain until they understand how backwards that statement is.

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 23:09:07


That is really unusual.

I work in city of london in traditional industry (client meetings = suited and booted) and in my office and walking around all the other suits on the streets / train etc I can honestly say that bare legs and light suits / summer attire is what's happening.

I maybe would have noticed a woman wearing black tights in this weather - and I haven't. I am bare legged (below knee skirts) and honestly the gist in town there is weather-appropriate.

Are you in a different part of the country maybe? That might make a difference I guess. Otherwise am at a loss!

NoComet Thu 05-Sep-13 23:11:35

This whole business attire malarkey is utter rubbish anyhow.

What present age of six formers nationally actually get jobs in formal legal offices and as full time customer facing accountants?

Most spend 3 years at uni, wearing jeans and then get a multitude of jobs or stay on to further study. Those who become teachers, vets, doctors, scientists, librarians etc, do not wear suits and tights except very occasionally. DH does shirt and tie, but he wears a jacket about twice a year.

Only two of our school gate mums ever wear city business attire. I'm guessing the one who's a solicitor can when necessary.

And that's the point, surely girls and boys can be trusted, at 21 to dress smartly without practicing for two years.

It's a load of money wasting crap.

Not to mention the likely hood of it slipping in to sexist nonsense like in the OP.

I had a similar tread a bit a go about all the letters from school moaning about skirt length and tight trousers on Y7-11 girls.

Why the fuck are the SLT so fascinated with underage girls legs?

Want2bSupermum Thu 05-Sep-13 23:11:40

Bare legs are a not acceptable in my line of work. Business casual is a suit without the jacket.

I think mastering business wear is a skill and it is great that 6th form students have a safe forum to gain a confidence of managing a working wardrobe. I think only wearing black tights is a stupid rule. This defeats the whole objective of allowing sixth formers to follow a business casual dress code.

I would go to town on the school for the statement you posted OP. What they are inferring is that females attending the educational establishment are not safe because they might be raped/attacked/marginalized at any given moment by some boar of a male. Not acceptable. I would go so far as to complain to the govenors of the school if they don't remove the statement and consider removing my children from an institution that doesn't respect women.

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 23:18:13

Why is it important for women to cover their legs with eg 7 denier tights which are made to look as if you're not wearing tights?

Does anyone know why bare legs are a "no go" assuming trad business attire otherwise ie not short skirts etc.

This is quite interesting.

Want2bSupermum Fri 06-Sep-13 00:45:26

I think women are expected to cover their legs because men are required to wear socks with trousers. The female equivalent would be to wear a pair of tights so your feet are covered.

Also, if we go bare legged it means we would need to accept men not wearing socks with their shoes. This is the same reason as to why I never wear open toe shoes at work. I reallly don't want to smell or see anyone's feet. Men tend to have knarly feet which are smelly.

merrymouse Fri 06-Sep-13 06:48:18

I think the male equivalent would be wearing shorts.

It's the difference between formal and informal dress.

(Having said that many jobs don't require business dress, as said above.. Must look a bit odd doing art and drama in suits.)

merrymouse Fri 06-Sep-13 06:53:46

Maybe more men should wear shorts.

JessieMcJessie Fri 06-Sep-13 07:17:49

utreas, when did you last work? No way are black tights the business norm in any office environment these days. They may have been worn by choice ( not by edict) when I was a trainee solicitor in the early 90s but they are now horrendously unfashionable. The only possible exception I can think of is undertaker.

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 07:48:42

But women wear smart office wear / client facing with no tights all the time and the men still wear socks grin

Honestly black tights are not in evidence in the area I work and I'm guessing the city is one of the more traditional dress codes overall. The men are all suited and booted etc. The women look smart / suited but bare legs are the norm especially in the hot weather.

marriedinwhiteisback Fri 06-Sep-13 08:02:58

I know a lady judge who wears biker boots and has a rather snazzy haircut with a tendency to die bits of it in interesting colours. Magic circle firms still insist on very traditional attire when facing clients but the women wear very smart trouser suits too nowadays. The world has moved from the early 80s.

OP if I were you I'd list three things that have been serious that the school hasn't dealt with: bullying, theft/assault, that teacher about whom everyone complains and sweetly note you take on board their concerns about dress code but would prefer them to be cognizant of the equality act and urge the school to focus on the serious issues which are likely to affect pupil happiness and achievement.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Fri 06-Sep-13 08:26:19

the male teacher thing is a real thing - I wore my own clothes in 6th form, but even before that on own clothes days, the retort was always 'you're making the male teacher uncomfortable'. hence the ban on SHORTS. definitely challenge this, and whoever said about asking whether the teachers also abide by this rule had the right idea.

RocknRollNerd Fri 06-Sep-13 08:32:02

My (girls only) 6th form went to 'smart business' when I was in the U6. It covered all bases nicely with the wonderful phrase 'items of clothing more suited to wearing on the beach (strappy tops, sundresses, shorts, flipflops etc) are not considered suitable office wear'. They'd covered off 'no denim' earlier on in the guidance. My final act of not-really-rebelling-at-all was to turn up for my final STEP exam (when there were 3 of us left doing exams as all the others had finished) was wearing a chambray denim backless sundress with flipflops; I figured they valued their Oxbridge stats too much to send me home grin.

Another one here who wore bare legs in practice (Big4 accountancy) in my last few years; it moved on a lot from the mid-90s when I joined and the regional senior partner didn't like women wearing trousers and we all had to see Anthea the Terrifying Image Consultant (TM) on our first day (who tried to turn us all into Air Stewardesses in navy suits and natty little scarves you could tie 50 different ways according to her handout).

TiredyCustards Fri 06-Sep-13 09:09:53

There's nothing more ridiculous than a teenager in a suit.

Disgraceful policy and wording.

Bonsoir Fri 06-Sep-13 09:11:28

My DSSs' very high performing lycée (equivalent of sixth form) in a plush area of Paris has a dress code, but no uniform. Girls wear jeans (dark with no holes) and t-shirts... as do boys. Clothing is just not an issue. All the parents work in professional environments and their DC are destined for the same.

I think 6th formers in suits look like shifty estate agents.

MoominMammasHandbag Fri 06-Sep-13 09:44:31

My DDs school had a sixth form taster day on a boiling hot day lays summer. Most of the girls turned up in shorts and about 50 of them were lined up and told they had to go home and change. When DD objected (she was wearing very, very modest longish shorts - in no way hot pants), the female head of sixth form basically said that it was disturbing for the male teachers to see their legs.
I actually wrote a very arsey letter saying that I was uncomfortable with my daughter being taught by male teachers who were in any way paying attention to teenage girls' legs.
My daughter chose to do her A levels at the local sixth form college which gets far better results than the school and treats the students like young adults.
I also think this notion of business dress is laughable; you don't paint or sculpt or conduct science experiments in a business suit.

mummytime Fri 06-Sep-13 09:51:30

My DS's new school insists on students wearing suits/business dress. But it is a specialist school, so doesn't do much sculpture and I assume they remove Jackets for Science experiments etc.
However if I they had a sentence as to why girls have to wear tights or the colour I would complain.

DH who works in the same profession as the specialism says they don't wear suits that much anymore and certainly don't often wear ties (he wears them when he's meeting the Board only).

steppedonlego Fri 06-Sep-13 10:01:04

Completely and utterly ridiculous that in this day and age any woman or girl has to adjust their appearance for the comfort of any man.

Bonsoir Fri 06-Sep-13 10:04:50

I really object to the idea that school is solely preparing pupils for life as corporate drones.

OctopusPete8 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:12:50

That is grim,
My headteacher once banned lycra trousers cuz' some girls "didn't have the figures for tight trousers" no word of a lie,
this was published in a report too.

As long as the skirt is an adequate length I should think that's enough.

FrauMoose Fri 06-Sep-13 10:20:04

The school is in my area and part of the same Foundation as the school my daughter attends. I have passed the link to this thread and the relevant Powerpoint on to a regional journalist/brodacaster....

LibraryBook Fri 06-Sep-13 10:22:43

I think they mean mixed as in boys and girls. And the girls' bare legs are likely to upset the boys' equilibrium and lead to an understandable lack of self-control.

If the girls with bare legs get raped in the sixth form common room, it will be their own fault for not sticking to the dress code. shock

Pachacuti Fri 06-Sep-13 10:23:00

Even though the OP specifically asked us all not to out the school?

Bonsoir Fri 06-Sep-13 10:24:27

I don't actually think that expecting teenaged girls to dress in a non-sexualised way at school is unreasonable - it is the same train of thought that makes me dislike sexualised clothes for small girls.

However, head-to-toe black in all weather seems positively Saudi Arabian and OTT.

There is a middle ground.

MoominMammasHandbag Fri 06-Sep-13 10:26:51

Exactly Bonsoir.
To be honest, my DS spent quite a few of his sixth form lunchtimes kicking a ball around with his mates. And I think that's fair enough, lots of them are still kids at that age. He'd have struggled in a business suit though.
Nothing more uncomfortable than a teenager in a cheap suit.

FrauMoose Fri 06-Sep-13 10:28:12

The information is in the public domain, and of public interest. If someone really wants/needs to keep stuff private, my feeling is that it's better not to post all over a publically available and highly popular messageboard, where anybody can see it and make their own decisions about what to do with it. (That's what we tell our kids isn't it?)

EvieanneVolvic Fri 06-Sep-13 10:29:11

Nice one FrauMoose.... NOT!

What Pachacuti said

EvieanneVolvic Fri 06-Sep-13 10:35:12

Yes, you may well have been coming from a good place, but it wasn't really in your gift to spread it was it Frau especially when the OP asked that it not be. Admittedly it was pretty easily identifiable from the wording, but even so, hardly in ths spirit of MN (or even AIBU ) is it?

I have messaged MNHQ to suggest that this sort of stuff be incorporated into the Talk guidelines.

TheBigJessie Fri 06-Sep-13 10:35:59

How much do these suits cost for sixth formers, anyway?

LibraryBook Fri 06-Sep-13 10:36:14

Banning flesh-coloured tights is very odd. It's almost as though girls are encouraged to cover anything that so much as resembles female flesh.

Is it by any chance a boys' school that admits girls in the sixth form?

LibraryBook Fri 06-Sep-13 10:37:04

I think this thread should be deleted now, urgently.

OctopusPete8 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:38:03

Suits? thats crazy why do they have to wear suits. Sounds like a strict 6th form.

But I agree with Bonsoir I remember one of my mates turning up to 6th form one day with a tight shift dress that barely and I mean barely covered, had she bent over it would have been a full eclipse. Not one teacher said anything.

AFishWithoutABicycle Fri 06-Sep-13 10:41:12

What implications??? Twunt!
I hope your daughter and her friends are furious about this. Back them in creating a huge stink its 2013 ffs.

Black tights with summer dresses are styleeeeee.


(I may have become a teenager in the 90s.)

EvieanneVolvic Fri 06-Sep-13 10:44:40

Banning flesh-coloured tights is very odd. It's almost as though girls are encouraged to cover anything that so much as resembles female flesh.

Yeah...and whose flesh colour? Does this mean that different coloured tights are banned for girls of different ethnicities?

NoComet Fri 06-Sep-13 10:49:03

Moomin DD1 is also seriously considering the local collage for the same reason. She wants to be treated as a young adult too!

Oh and another stupid thing.
DD1 got full marks for suitable dress at her mock interview.

Wearing a very nice long sleeveless blouse, over you've guessed, her school skirt, which is way shorter than the (totally ignored) rules.

It's all a complete waste of time.

PrickleHead Fri 06-Sep-13 10:56:08

OH MY GOD, I knew it would be that school from the OP. I went to that school and sixth form, and although they didn't have that exact phrasing, that was definitely the attitude. There was an assembly given just to the girls about being careful not to provoke / tempt / lead on the boys. Honestly. Complain, complain, complain.

PrickleHead Fri 06-Sep-13 11:02:51

Also, it is rather tangential to the point, but I was once sent home because although my skirt & jacket matched in colour, they did not match in fabric. This is how strict the dress code is, even without shaming young women for being young women.

When I was in the sixth form aeons ago we had no dress code. We were however, expected to work and behave in an appropriate manner.

I appreciate that smart dress can go some way to reassuring people that someone appears trustworthy/reliable but in truth, if we are going to purely judge someone on whether they are dressed 'appropriately' then we're likely to miss out on a whole raft of talent.

I had a rather heated discussion with someone last week when I said that I did not care what colour or length hair someone had, whether they had tattoos or piercings or not, but I did care that they were honest, polite and competent at what they did. In some lines of work, more rigid dress codes may be appropriate, but the purpose of sixth form and university is to further the education and broaden the skill set of the individual, surely?

chocoluvva Fri 06-Sep-13 11:12:50

'business/office wear' for students? grin

Are they all studying accountancy, business studies, politics etc?

Is nobody studying Home Ec (or whatever it's called now), Art, Music, PE, academic subjects - academics are well-known for being smartly dressed after all? hmm

They're students not professionals. IMO it's silly.

motherinferior Fri 06-Sep-13 11:14:58

Whose flesh anyway? Are they assuming all legs are pink?

They are not even students. They are pupils, damn it!

I know, motherinferior. I am wearing blue tights. I suppose this would have particular implications for the Pictish men, then?

chocoluvva Fri 06-Sep-13 11:17:20

Yes. A less formal dress code would make the pupils more obviously pupils and less like the teachers.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 06-Sep-13 11:18:06

It is absolutely wrong on every level.

chocoluvva Fri 06-Sep-13 11:19:49

Sadly, I haven't found 'flesh' colured tights suitable for me either - they'd have to be white and purple-blue I'm sorry to say. grin Black tights have the effect of my making my legs more attractive I'd have thought - sleek and sophisticated. Or something.

PrickleHead Fri 06-Sep-13 11:24:17

Oh, also, the same school - a girl got pregnant at the end of year 11, and had to just leave. She wasn't allowed to come back to sit her GCSEs in the hall with us, and she was told not to come back to sixth form. Honestly.

sittinginthesun Fri 06-Sep-13 11:24:57

I drove past three school runs this mornings - all good performing secondaries with 6th forms.

I noted black tights, nude tights, black knee length socks, white and black ankle socks. 6th form girls in bare legs and ballet style shoes. All seemed perfectly respectable to me.

I also drive by two tube stations, and watched the commuters. Not a single pair of tights - everyone in trousers or bare legs.

I'm in my office (law firm), we are all in trousers or skirts with bare legs.

My DH went to his city law job this morning in jeans and a shirt.

Completely agree re: the shifty estate agent comment. The only people I have seen in suits today are shifty looking estate agents!

TheBigJessie Fri 06-Sep-13 12:42:19

PrickleHead That's awful! School-age mothers need education and the opportunity to sit their final exams more than anyone else, if anything!

Theas18 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:53:13

Absolutely 'stron!

Do write to them. However don't expect any changes in policy, though the wording really MUST change. If yout 6th form is like mine there is an element of " how very lucky you are to be here and never forget it" to explain pettiness !

( Caveat we've had no issues since DD1 was in 6th form the boys wear uniform and it's just so much less stressful, wish the girls would!)

Vivacia Fri 06-Sep-13 12:56:23

Having business attire as the dress code is not unusual and not the point here. The OP has chosen to send her daughter to this college and is supportive of the dress code in principle.

Bonsoir Fri 06-Sep-13 13:17:08

Schools seem to confuse "business attire" and "outfits worn by low-grade clerical/service workers".

marriedinwhiteisback Fri 06-Sep-13 16:07:46

Hmm DS had to wear a business suit for 6th form. My heart almost swelled with pride when I saw him in it with a Lewin shirt for the first time. It is much better than the overgrown schoolboy look, ie, gangling youths who have started shaving in a too small blazer and poly cotton shirt. Gazes at photo on desk.

motherinferior Fri 06-Sep-13 16:21:33

Can I just say that the only suits I have ever worn for work were (a) a rather fabulous coral pink with a really quite short skirt (b) a natty grape-purple trousered number. I was running the communications for a major national charity at the time. Neither outfit would have been looked at with particular approval by most schools....

Talkinpeace Fri 06-Sep-13 16:24:09

as the poster who realised that the school could be definitively identified from the post I am sad and disappointed that you have gone to the local press about it.

OP had the right to.
Other parents at that school had the right to
You UTTERLY did not.

Last night when I made it clear I had identified the school, I respected OP and did not even identify which part of the British Isles it was in.
You on the other hand have potentially made life even more difficult for her daughter.

The uniform rule is out of order.
As an example of how it works in a non sexist way, have a look at the rules at Caterham school.The colour of the tights is not the issue, their presence and condition is. As is the presence and condition of the boys' trousers.

FrauMoose Fri 06-Sep-13 16:44:25

Some points of information, in relation to my having flagged up this story to an extremely reputable journalist, who has handled one or two other sensitive stories I've given him with due care.

Firstly, I have no idea of the real-life identity of the Original Poster or her child. Nor do I have any interest in finding out or sharing such information.

Secondly, there seems to be a lack of awareness about the circumstances in which the press may identify a particular child at any given school.
There is more information at

Thirdly. My own daughter attends a school run by the same Foundation as the Original Poster's child.

Fourthly. My daughter considered switching to the sixth form at the school concerned in order to study the International Baccalaurate, but ended up deciding against it. I was very concerned to discover that - at some point in the spring/summer term, the school then decided to stop offering the IB. Had my daughter gone through the interview process and been given a place there to do this course of study, she would then have been extremely upset by the late decision to withdraw this course. The change does not seem to have been at all well-planned or implemented.

Fifthly. My stepson did attend the same school as the Original Poster's child, so I have an additional interest in the place. For five years my husband and I were very concerned about the fact that - despite repeated requests and promises which were never kept - they didn't send us any communications about my stepson's education. (It's hardly unusual for parents to be separated and for parents with care to fail to pass on information to non-resident parents. The school also failed to identify some particular needs he had for educational support, and this failure on their part has had some serious long-term consequences.

alistron1 Fri 06-Sep-13 17:12:18

I have no issue with fraumoose going to the press with it, as she pointed out I did put it out there. If I end up with a sad face picture in the daily mail though I will sue for damages!

No response to my email, which I think is pretty bad form regarding a complaint from a parent.

FrauMoose Fri 06-Sep-13 17:19:45

Thank you alistron1. I really don't like the idea of upsetting anyone. I was rather perturbed when my own daughter - also in business dress - was told on the same hot day by a particular teacher that she shouldn't take her suit jacket off in class because that infringed the uniform code. I asked my daughter whether she wanted me to complain. She said 'no', as they were going off on a residential the following day and the forecast was for colder weather. Other teachers were fine about girls sitting blazerless in their classes that day. (If the issue recurs, I'll undoubtedly be raising it - though as the weather's changing I think all should go quiet.

I would agree it's bad form - parental complaints should always get a quick response, even if it's just a "Thank you for your email and we are looking into it" type of thing. That's what we do but granted the school I work in is probably 1/10th the size of yours!

Awaiting school's response with interest...

UptheChimney Fri 06-Sep-13 18:02:07

What exactly is a mixed environment, anyway?

The normal world? I tend to find that my male colleagues manage not to rape me.

I'm bare legged today.

FrauMoose Fri 06-Sep-13 18:11:02

Also do women ever fancy each other? (Just a thought.)

Talkinpeace Fri 06-Sep-13 18:23:48

like the post on a thread last term about a school trip where the rooms were fiddled so that two year 13 boys who were a couple got to share a room grin

and on a school trip where the kids nearly managed to get the teachers to juggle the rooms so the gay boy and girl could share as everybody was more comfortable that way ....

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 19:19:59

Only if they aren't wearing black tights, frau grin

Ooh I took the day off work today for DD2 school settling in and her teacher was wearing black tights!!!!!!

With a sort of summer dress and trainers.

Presumably not what these schools are thinking of grin

kangarooshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 20:26:01


I am in a respected profession, and frequently go bared legged. However, that is not the issue.

Really dreadful.

samandi Fri 06-Sep-13 21:25:14

Women don't generally wear black tights for business attire ... flesh-coloured tights are far more common? confused

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:18:50


Immodest dress may offend religious sensibilities apparantly.

It's not a religious school.

Jengnr Fri 13-Sep-13 17:25:28

What are the implications?

Did you find out?

And cop out answer - this needs to go further.

BoundandRebound Fri 13-Sep-13 17:28:26


Immodest dress may offend religious sensibilities apparantly.

It's not a religious school.

Tis is true however it means shoulders and knees generally and should not be used as an excuse for blatant sexism

SybilRamkin Fri 13-Sep-13 17:31:29

WTAF?? 'Religious sensibilities'? So sexism is ok if you stick a 'religion' badge on it? I'd be RAGING if I were you! angry

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:33:06

DD1 got told off today because of the length of her skirt - it's not short, but it had ridden up because she was running to a lesson after lunch.

I wore a shorter skirt today to my professional job.

Also the low heeled, plain black leather ankle boots I made her wear because it was raining (chelsea boots) are also inappropriate.

Oh, and because I'm the only parent who has complained there is no problem.

I have rage.

Blissx Fri 13-Sep-13 17:38:04

My one bug bear is the new fashion for these new short, stretchy black skirts that barely cover the backside. I agree that this in itself rather than tights should be stamped down on and if the skirts are roughly knee length then it wouldn't be so noticeable having bare legs. These short skirts and bare legs are quite frankly a recipe for disaster anyway and for that Sixth
Form girls should be made aware of how they come across.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 13-Sep-13 17:38:53

I'm not surprised you're fuming.

Are these rules a new thing?

Tbh I'd be wondering about other colleges - this one sounds like a nightmare.

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:41:45

Sixth form girls should be aware of how they come across? All DD1 cares about is getting the grades to study physics at uni. Not having to assess every morning if her smart, tailored clothes are going to offend a religious sensibility.

Yes, I was informed that the code is new this year because of past issues with 'immodest' dress.

Morgause Fri 13-Sep-13 17:42:13

I have rage for you. angry

Morgause Fri 13-Sep-13 17:43:07

Why are the young people putting up with this stupidity? Do the majority think it's ok?

NoComet Fri 13-Sep-13 17:43:44

I'd send them an email inviting them to attend "Feeble excuses course 101"

Religious sensibilities indeed. I'm assuming female teachers and younger pupils always wear tights in hot weather and that no teacher ever wears a sleeveless summer dress. I also assume pupils always wear tracksuits for games even in high summer and there are no school swimming lessons.

Honestly I have never heard such a load of rubbish.

5madthings Fri 13-Sep-13 17:56:37

Omfg religious sensibilities?!

I bet other parents haven't complained because they haven't read it properly!

I am sure lots of lovely mnetters wilbe able to help you prepare an appropriate letter, this cannot be the end of this complaint!

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:04:13

I'm drafting an email this weekend. I'm not letting this lie.

Vivacia Fri 13-Sep-13 18:10:10

Good for you alistron I hope people here can help and have your back, as they say.

Good for you. Vile sexism of 'she's asking for it' sort. The dress code doesnt matter, the making female students dress in a particular way for others is.

stella69x Fri 13-Sep-13 18:18:17

I think I would be showing that statement to the local press in a name and shame campaign.

SuperiorCat Fri 13-Sep-13 18:19:10

FFS I am raging on your behalf. What pathetic excuses.

stillenacht Fri 13-Sep-13 18:23:25

I am a teacher and HATE all this wearing suits in the sixth form. Urgh. Poor Art/Drama/Dance/Music ie vaguely creative students all suited and booted. I would have HATED it!!!

Morgause Fri 13-Sep-13 18:44:02

Me too, stillenacht, teacher and drama-type. We weren't that restricted in the 60s for goodness sake.

YeahWhat Fri 13-Sep-13 18:54:07

What a stupid thing for the school to write. I would complain.

pointythings Fri 13-Sep-13 18:57:46

Definitely contact the local press - and make sure they see both versions of the feeble excuse. The first is sexist, the second is politically correct, both are weaselly (apologies to all good and decent weasels here). The journos would have a field day.

merrymouse Fri 13-Sep-13 19:22:31

How on earth are these delicate flowers who are so flustered by knees going to cope at uni?

Do the pupils shield their eyes when they see a postman?

It seems a strange way to manage pupils who are presumably in sixth form because they want to learn.

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:01:10

I keep on wondering if I'm over reacting and being professionally offended. I'm not, am I?

kangarooshoes Fri 13-Sep-13 20:48:36

No, you're not over-reacting. I would go batshit.

friday16 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:52:36

alistron1 Birmingham selective near a reservoir, by any chance?

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:53:51

I've sent another email, asking for further clarification. It's tiring being restrained and considered. The sexist fuckers.

alistron1 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:57:32

friday - it has several ways!!

friday16 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:03:03


Indeed. A few days ago I had cause to be looking at the presentation given to new parents in the summer and noticed the page on cleavages etc. My reaction was similar to your, and I was very glad that my children are in other sixth forms.

UptheChimney Fri 13-Sep-13 21:13:11

Tis is true however it means shoulders and knees generally and should not be used as an excuse for blatant sexism

this makes me so angry. There is absolutely NOTHING immodest about a woman or girl's shoulders or knees.

If others' religious sensibilities are offended, let them wear blinkers, or not look at me. I am not responsible for others' feelings.

Pixel Fri 13-Sep-13 23:00:35

Shoulders and knees? Are we all victorians?
<searches on Amazon for table leg covers lest dh becomes inflamed>

I'm all for 'modest' dress. I hate seeing young women with their bums hanging out of their shorts or girls going to school in not much more than a wide belt, but I agree with UptheChimney, nothing wrong with shoulders and knees at all.

NoComet Fri 13-Sep-13 23:41:34

hmm the shorts in the sea in the last picture in the prospectus are certainly not modest business dress.

And can you wave to the big red brick phalic object for me grin

Wearytiger Sat 14-Sep-13 08:02:30

Go for it OP.

My school was also very strict and every year our house mistress would read an announcement to the girls requesting that we desist from rolling up our (mid calf) skirts as 'the boys have complained that it makes the girls look cheap'). So very unlikely, and also offensive!

merrymouse Sat 14-Sep-13 09:51:17

It really is the explanation that's odd isnt it. Schools have all sorts of bizarre uniforms, but the idea that intelligent, committed sixth formers would be distracted by an outfit that would be worn by the duchess of Cambridge (visible knees, skin coloured tights) is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Its a bit "sorry miss, I wasnt listening to you because I was looking at knees".

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 14-Sep-13 15:01:03

Good point, merrymouse. Perhaps if the Duchess were planning to visit the school, they could send her a note ahead of time, warning her about "particular implications."

Good for you, OP, in persisting with your objections.

pigletmania Sat 14-Sep-13 15:11:11

Go for it, absolutely shocking. What about ales having to dress modestly! absolutely sexist! This is not an Islamic country!

ILoveAFullFridge Sat 14-Sep-13 15:20:26

"Immodest dress may offend religious sensibilities"

They've clearly not taken into account the religious sensibilities of any Muslim pupils or staff!

What utter claptrap.

merrymouse Sat 14-Sep-13 20:49:27
Pixel Sat 14-Sep-13 22:38:50

You could have warned me about the link, she's showing her shoulders and knees at the same time. Oh the shame!
I see some people further down the page have fainted from the shock.

NerfHerder Wed 17-Sep-14 21:23:25

I would love to know what the outcome of this complaint was... and whether alistron1's dd is applying for physics still! smile

MrsWinnibago Wed 17-Sep-14 21:26:26

You've bumped it Nerf? A zombie thread? Did you go looking for it? I am also keen to know though and think I have seen Alistron about.

Marmiteandjamislush Wed 17-Sep-14 21:28:19

Is it a faith school?

Cherriesandapples Wed 17-Sep-14 21:31:11

Whose religious sensibilities? The head teachers, local community, other pupils? Just who feels that they have the right to make girls wear black stockings? You should complain to Ofstead!

Cherriesandapples Wed 17-Sep-14 21:32:06

Oh how annoying - a zombie thread!

NerfHerder Wed 17-Sep-14 21:46:19

mrsW- it was linked from another thread (in active convos).
Just wondering what the outcome was.

PersonOfInterest Wed 17-Sep-14 21:48:45

a zombie thread but I can still find that wording if I google it.

I absolutely have the rage that young women in an education establishment are being instructed to dress to avoid offending other religions.


CatCushion Wed 17-Sep-14 22:02:42

DD's sixth form has a similar uniform policy, and there are people of various faiths there. The wording of their dress code is not offensive, and allows for 'tan' tights. It hadn't occurred to me before, I wonder whether they are allowed to have bare legs or not. I hated wearing tights at that age. I still do, come to that.

I read 9 pages before realising it was a zombie thread. sad

duhgldiuhfdsli Wed 17-Sep-14 22:50:13

The school in question has a watered down form of the same words in this year's sixth form dress code. The religious influence is still, one suspects, present: "This is a mixed environment so we ask students to dress modestly", but everything that is mentioned after that (cleavage, midriffs, skirts) clearly only applies to women. And the word "modesty" is a bit of a dog whistle, I suspect.

SquirrelWearingATrilby Wed 17-Sep-14 23:34:37

So all boys/men are rabid animals and just need a sniff of female flesh to become rapists?

Good lord. How do these men folk control their animal urges in summer walking around towns with girls/women in summer dresses no tights and worse, on the beach in bikinis

Best get those table legs covered up, we're roaring back to the Victorian times.

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 17-Sep-14 23:39:16

I'm sure DDs DFs with that sort of dress code wear nice summer dresses and bare legs when warm.

DDs dress code is more relaxed school uniform than business and she did wear tights the first week when it was very warm here.

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 17-Sep-14 23:39:35


ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 17-Sep-14 23:41:43

And as everyone says the rules are sexist twaddle.

Certain teachers obsessing about skirt length is the one that annoys me. "Stop looking at teen girls legs and go and plan a fucking lesson"

sashh Thu 18-Sep-14 06:55:52

I'd ask exactly what the implications are because you can't work that out, unless they mean their establishment is not safe for female students in which case you would like to see their safe guarding policy.

moxon Thu 18-Sep-14 07:10:58

Not to encourage the further unzombie-ing of this thread, but sauvignon you made me giggle. Sympathies! flowers

QueenTilly Thu 18-Sep-14 17:21:40

An update from a student there? This policy was still an issue last April, I think.

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