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Girls not allowed to wear trousers to school? I thought we were in the 21st century?

(234 Posts)
TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Sun 21-Jun-09 23:38:21

My DD is due to start primary school in September. I have been reading through the school's info pack, and I am really surprised (and hacked off) that the school specifies for winter school uniform, girls must wear a skirt & tights, and not trousers. hmm

Is this normal? It seems so unnecessary. I can't really put into words how I feel, as it is pretty late, but it seems to be reinforcing gender stereotypes.

I am considering raising the issue with the head teacher, but would appreciate any views.

DoctorWhoEver Mon 02-May-11 18:10:22

We have a traditional church school near us that won't allow the girls to wear trousers - however the girls don't look smart in their skirts, they look tarty as most of them wear their skirts just below their knicker line. hmm

edam Mon 02-May-11 12:19:16

It's an old thread. But I think schools that do this are stupid. Why is it so important to see girls' legs? And they are acting illegally.

ZZZenAgain Mon 02-May-11 12:18:23

I agree with you OP, I find it entirely unacceptable. Of course girls should be permitted to wear trousers, why ever not?

Butkin Mon 02-May-11 12:14:23

DDs (to 13) doesn't allow trousers for girls. Tunics/dresses in early years then skirs/dresses from Yr 4. Boys have to wear short trousers all year round until Yr 4 when they can wear trousers.

Butterpiecrimearea Sun 01-May-11 14:12:31

Ponders- I would expect the children to wear tights or leggings under the trousers in winter tbh. I know I did, when my school came to it's senses and allowed trousers. That and a t shirt under the blouse (hence why I wore the shirt with tie rather than the open necked one). Plus trousers allow for more study shoes or boots- I even got away with DMs in the winter. In Primary School all we had as options were thermal vests and knickers, and pulling the socks up high.

And I went to school in the tropics of Lancashire. We now live in Tyne and Wear, and my eldest has asthma or something. The geordies might not mind the cold, but I do! (and by extension I suspect my children will)

Plus, I never did the whole sports thing, but I bet skirts don't help there either.

Ponders Sun 01-May-11 00:03:11

as far as winter is concerned, tights are warmer than trousers, but that's not the point here

this thread is nearly 2 years old though grin

Butterpiecrimearea Sat 30-Apr-11 23:51:47

In a way, shorts for boys makes it not so bad, but I still wouldn't send mine in with bare legs, regardless of gender, in the winter. We live in the north east - it is freezing round here. School kids spend lots of time outdoors, or at least they should.

I remember just spending playtimes huddled up with the other girls, with our legs tucked into our coats, shivering, while the boys played football.

Not. Happening. With. My. Girls.

GiddyPickle Sat 30-Apr-11 23:48:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cmichelle246 Sat 30-Apr-11 23:46:09

Human rights and anti-discrimination issues
While pupils must stick to the school's uniform policy, schools must be considerate to the needs of different cultures, races and religions. Schools must always act reasonably and sensibly in accommodating religious requirements, providing they do not pose a threat to security, safety and learning, or compromise the well-being of the school community.
Schools must not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or belief.

Butterpiecrimearea Sat 30-Apr-11 23:43:10

??? What's with the thread necromancing?

My kid's school better not try on any of this bollocks with skirts only btw. Girls can look smart in trousers. In winter, you need trousers if you are going to be forced to stand around freezing playgrounds. End of. Anyone who wants to make my girls suffer for being girls can come and explain themselves to my face. And then deal with the shit ton of greif I will give them in every media outlet until they stop being such knobs and give girls an equal chance at comfort and health.

But...old, old thread.

claire201 Sat 30-Apr-11 23:38:06

Still standard practice in all grammar and prep schools in Northern Ireland. Having went to one, I can honestly say it wasn't a bad thing. I didn't feel second class to the males etc. Thats just the way it was and it looked so much better than the cheap trousers the girls from the secondary schools squeezed themselves into. I now live in Scotland and am totally shocked at the lack of proper school uniforms- rather than being socialist it instantly marks out the well off and the not so!

cmichelle246 Sat 30-Apr-11 23:30:31

send her in trousers, much more modest and better forher to run around my daughter will have to wear trouses because shes a muslim (cant show off her legs) but you dont need an exuse its her right to wear them

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Sun 28-Jun-09 23:35:54

shock Measuring your knicker legs!

I do think there are very few nice designs of girls' school trousers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if some high profile designer took on the challenge? I might write to Vivienne Westwood and see if she would be interested. smile

Miggsie Sun 28-Jun-09 13:31:54

One of the positives of DD's (lovely) school is girls can wear trousers.
They have a summer dress as well but DD wears shorts underneath as she is very very active, always on the climbing frame etc and she didn't want to show her knickers. In winter she wears skirt or trousers depending how she feels.

Impractical uniform really pisses me off...who invented gym slips, gym knickers and 20 inch skirts for 18 year old girls? It has to be middle aged men, that's who. One school I rejected out of hand when it specified a 20 inch skirt length for the girls, well fine when you are 12, but at 18, and nearly 6 foot tall? No way.

Tights are a nightmare, I hate them, always have, always seemed to end up with the crotch halfway down my thighs and too tight round the middle/hips. With DD I buy them one age group higher so she can properly pull them up.

I wouldn't send my DD to that school Yearof CAT as I bet none of the children would pick on her for wearing trousers (and some girls would copy her for sure) but I bet the Head would pick on her. I know someone whose mother always told her women looked awful in trousers and made her ride her horse side saddle with a skirt on!

My great aunt went to Cheltenham ladies college and they used to have a teacher who would measure the length of your knicker leg! Girls were randomly picked and had to lift their skirts and the teacher held a ruler on their leg to see if they were the regulation length knickers. Had to be 12 inches I think, something like that, real halfway down the thigh knickers!

Now that IS oppression.
And a bit creepy too.

Dottoressa Sat 27-Jun-09 09:57:38

Good point, YOTC!

I'm so glad you've found your DD a place at a nice school. Mollycoddled lambs sound lovely!

I think you've both had a narrow escape...

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Fri 26-Jun-09 22:49:15

Quick update - The private school was really lovely & homely, and all the girls looked like lovely mollycuddled lambs. [Gooey emoticon]

We are lucky enough that there is 1 place left for the coming year. I just have to wait until Monday to get formal confirmation of my DD's place.

For me, the trouser issue doesn't present such a big deal in a small girls only school - it is somehow different that there isn't a differentiation between girls and boys.

Dottoressa Thu 25-Jun-09 10:54:56

Good lord. I am anti-trousers for schoolgirls, but that HT is disturbing. I would be very, very wary of that school, and not just because of the trouser issue.

I'm not sure you'll find a private school that allows girls to wear trousers, though!! (Though I hope, for your sake, that I'm wrong).

You may find that other girls want to wear trousers if your DD is doing it (the HT may have a revolt on her hands!)

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Thu 25-Jun-09 10:01:01

Thanks. The attitude of the HT really rang alarm bels for me. I am viewing our local private (girls only) school this afternoon.

bloss Thu 25-Jun-09 06:13:57

Message withdrawn

Lotster Wed 24-Jun-09 23:12:07

In that case, (and just if I were you), I'd mix it up a bit. Let her fit in and wearing a skirt some days, so she's not completely different to her friends, then maybe on more cold/active days, send her in the trousers.

That way you get to make your point without alienating her as you suggest. There have been arguements for tradition / not stereotyping / practicality etc., but this way, I'm sure given time she'll develop her own stronger sense of what she wants, which surely is the most important thing over all, both on this matter and in life in general.

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Wed 24-Jun-09 21:50:01

Hullygully - what a really perceptive point!

The thing is, although children at this age probably don't really care that much whether they wear trousers or a skirt, it is laying the groundwork for much more awareness later on. It's not as if you can turn round at 10 and try to get our DDs to start wearing trousers when they have had 6 yrs of wearing only skirts at school.

Lotster - I don't know of any other mums who are considering this, although I haven't discussed it with any of them. The HT said I was the only parent who had ever raised it as an issue, and the 'guidance' is written in such a way as to give no indication that it is purely guidance, or give any room for variation - so it is unlikely that any other parents will do it.

I sought the advice of my very wise 86 yr old neighbour - she said to make sure I buy the nicest trousers I can, and go ahead & send DD to school in them. That way, all the other children will want to wear them too. wink

But I am in a quandary - I don't want my DD to feel stigmatised, but nor do I want to force gender stereo-types on her. I feel so silly - I genuinely was shocked when I read the prospectus last week, given that both boys & girls wear trousers at the school nursery.

Lotster Wed 24-Jun-09 20:06:37

Year of - will your daughter be happy to be the only one in trousers? Or are there others doing it too?

hullygully Wed 24-Jun-09 19:48:59

The Year of etc - absolutely agree with you. What drives me particularly mad is people who keep harping on how trousers "look" on girls - what the fuck has appearance got to do with it? Apart from, of course, it's so terribly important to judge females on their appearance. Anorexia anyone?

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Wed 24-Jun-09 16:07:27

The Head was wearing a skirt today, but I have also seen her in smart trouser suits (I think).

Her attitude does stink, and I found her implication that me being concerned for my DD's modesty suggests 'inappropriate adult influence which is a cause for concern' very worrying indeed, and quite frankly, offensive.

Her argument and thinking are flawed - she says parents don't want the choice of wearing trousers - yet they have never been asked. When I asked if the guidance could be changed to show dress / pinafore / trousers - she said no, because the parents don't want it. If they don't want it, fine, other parents can dress their DDs in skirts or dresses if they want - but at least they have the choice.

To say 'this is a traditional school' just screams - 'we don't want diversity', and I am shocked by her implication that if my child wears trousers she could be bullied, but that it's my choice.

I also don't really understand the issue of policy / guidance. Initially she said she wasn't going to change the uniform policy, then later when I was asking how to go about getting a policy change, she said we don't have a uniform policy - this is only guidance - it seems very semantic.

Anyway, now I am on the hunt for some nice grey trousers - no polyester.

Olihan Wed 24-Jun-09 15:45:24

Just out of interest, what was the HT wearing and what do the rest of the staff wear?

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