Girls not allowed to wear trousers

(152 Posts)
mummybear701 Wed 11-Jun-14 23:00:19

My children are going to a new primary as we are relocating (work reasons). I was aghast the uniform said girls can't wear trousers and have queried this, but the response was yes that is the rule. Daughter is not happy as thinks skirts are too girly, not just cold and impractical. She wears a skirt or dress about 3/4 times a year on average for special events only. Leggings aren't allowed either even under skirts. Who would think this still happens in 2014?

I am going to discuss it again with the HT and would like some advice. Our dilemma is the school by all accounts is very good academically and allowing children to develop, so the uniform may be a small price for the 2 years she will have.

Please don't say primaries cant enforce uniform. They can and will one way or the other.

ladybirdandsnails Wed 11-Jun-14 23:12:41

I think this is so sad in this day and age. My dd will only wear school tailored trousers or proper girls uniform shorts 75% of the time and she is only 4. She does not understand why anyone would want to insist she wears a dress. Luckily our amazing state school has a nice relaxed uniform policy. It really made me question the policy at other schools and the message it sends.

tiggytape Wed 11-Jun-14 23:15:02

Primary schools can enforce uniform rules. It is rare for a mixed school to ban girls from wearing trousers (mainly that is left to all girl secondary schools with their hideous kilts - but nobody could claim that is sexist!)

Another poster in a recent thread linked this on the matter of equality which seems to suggest it is allowed. The quote was:

But it is currently up to individual schools to decide whether or not girls are allowed to wear trousers – or boys are allowed to wear earrings – in that school.The basic principle should be that, because trousers are conventional dress for girls, there is a strong argument that it would be unlawful sex discrimination to deny a girl the opportunity to wear smart trousers as an alternative to skirts as part of a uniform code. But so far, courts have not had to make a judgment on whether different school uniform regulations for boys and girls would be discriminatory under the Sex Discrimination Act.

I am sure you wouldn't be the only parent to raise this though, and if enough do, it may change.

MaudantWit Wed 11-Jun-14 23:16:51

Yes, primary schools can enforce uniform policies - there are several old threads about this.

What do you hope to get from your meeting with the HT? They are unlikely to agree to waive the uniform policy for one child, so your choice is likely to be between accepting the policy or finding another (possibly less high-achieving) school.

snice Wed 11-Jun-14 23:40:43

Would sculptures be allowed as a compromise? Quite a few girls wear th m at DSs school

snice Wed 11-Jun-14 23:41:38

Culottes!!!!!
(Autocorrect)

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 11-Jun-14 23:46:37

Well, then, you decide.

Do you want the school, and therefore comply with the standards or do you want somewhere that allows trousers but would be a compromise on the school?

Up to you.

catkind Thu 12-Jun-14 00:23:48

I think discrimination is the line to take here. Could you ask if the school have an equal opportunities policy?

petitdonkey Thu 12-Jun-14 00:35:30

My dds school doesn't allow trousers and it has never crossed my mind to argue with that. We knew the uniform when we started and I have never heard a girl (or parent for that matter) complain.

There is an article in our local paper every year about some woeful child being sent home from secondary school because they weren't complying with uniform regulations and the majority of people's comments are 'if you don't want to comply, find another school'. It's not a deal breaker for me and if a school believes it is important but you disagree then maybe you will disagree with them in other areas.

petitdonkey Thu 12-Jun-14 00:36:25

catkind - genuine question, would the right to wear trousers fall under equal opportunities?

catkind Thu 12-Jun-14 00:45:48

Why not? Trousers are more practical and more comfortable, particularly in winter. Why should one half of the school's pupils be allowed to wear them and the other not? I wouldn't accept that at work.

petitdonkey Thu 12-Jun-14 01:00:36

yep, it seems you are entirely correct.

Fram Thu 12-Jun-14 01:14:00

The only schools I know that have this rule are independent. And yes, they can enforce it, because otherwise you'll be asked to leave. Never heard of a state school with this rule.

petitdonkey Thu 12-Jun-14 01:15:32

(my children are at independent)

SoonToBeSix Thu 12-Jun-14 01:25:41

Just wear tights, I hate seeing girls in trousers for school
Uniform . I am glad it's not allowed at my dc school.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 12-Jun-14 02:17:45

There was a really good thread about this in FWR a few months ago. It is definitely an equality issue, and I would be concerned about the message this school is sending its female pupils. Trousers have been acceptable and conventional dress for women in most every situation for a long time. It's a sexist policy to force girls to wear skirts.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/1963166-School-uniform-rule-girls-not-allowed-trousers

EdgeOfNowhere Thu 12-Jun-14 02:30:42

I wouldn't send my DD to a school that didn't allow trousers if I had a choice.

It sends totally the wrong message to the pupils (both boys and girls) and I'd be worried it was a sexist institution.

I'd also worry that it was a school that didn't listen to parents (no way will you be the first parent to raise this)

And basically we'd be starting off on the wrong foot. With me already having concerns.....

mummytime Thu 12-Jun-14 06:27:56

It is also racist - thats why schools were made to start allowing trousers when I was at school back in the 70s/80s. Some girls need to cover their legs for religious reasons - although this was then got around by schools back in the day by allowing trousers as long as the girl wore a skirt too.

I would be shocked too to find a State school with a no trousers for girls policy.

Beehatch Thu 12-Jun-14 06:37:33

If that were us we would have to change school as I have a DD who point blank refuses to wear skirts or dresses and has done since before she was 3. I have no good reason why she should be forced out of clothing that she is comfortable in (and that is acceptable for 50% of the other pupils). What sort of message would that be giving her?

Like you though I would approach the school first.

Prettyinbeige Thu 12-Jun-14 06:47:55

I went to a girls school where only skirts were allowed. A few parents objected to this and the school agreed to provide a pair of tailored trousers as an alternative (they were awful!) guess what? NOONE wore them and no more was ever said on this issue

EdgeOfNowhere Thu 12-Jun-14 06:55:11

Interesting point about discrimination on the basis of religion. I'd forgotten that..... Selection by the back door?

In your meeting with the HT I'd certainly ask how they cater for Muslims who need to wear a skirt.....

Here's what the govt says: https://www.gov.uk/school-uniform

'If you feel you're being discriminated against go speak to your HT' smile

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Thu 12-Jun-14 06:57:15

What a shitty attitude. What possible reason could they have for not allowing trousers based solely on the genitalia of a child?

ChoudeBruxelles Thu 12-Jun-14 06:59:39

I think they're on shaky ground if someone says they want to wear trousers for religious purposes. Although they might just say a skirt has to be worn over the trousers.

FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 12-Jun-14 07:01:58

I have the daughter the same as Beehatch, there was no issue wearing trousers but whe wasn't allowed to where shorts, my brother is a governor and my SIL trains people in equality and diversity, they put a good argument together.

Nocomet Thu 12-Jun-14 07:34:58

It's also a financial and hassle issue

Thick tights are not cheap. The DDs holed a fortunes worth of tights falling over in infants.

They can also be a grade A pain to get, they sell out very quickly. They are an unmitigated pain for PE and impossible after swimming.

Most winters DDs wrecked their tights and resorted to trousers very quickly.

Tights are still a massive hassle at secondary, always laddering and needing replacing. Fortunately DDs wear trousers most of the time.

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