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Girls not allowed to wear trousers to school...anyone with experience?

(43 Posts)
21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 20:04:54

A few months ago my daughter started at her new school for 7-11 year olds. The uniform policy states that only Skirts are allowed for girls. We approached the school and were told that Governing Body would be reviewing the Uniform policy. They sent out a general questionaire that asked parents if they were happy with the current uniform. Less than 50% of parents responded. The results of this review have now come through:

"After a lengthy discussion particularly on the pros and cons of allowing girls to wear trousers, the Governing Body has decided not to make any change to the school uniform but to update and clarify the guidance for parents... We have also supported a proposal that during cold weather girls should be allowed to travel to and from school in trousers with the option to change at the beginning and end of the school day."

I have seen the following article
but was wondering if anyone else out there had experience dealing with Governing Bodies on this issue that could help us respond to this. If there is anyone who knows the "cons" of allowing girls to wear trousers I would also love to know.

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:08:16

A state primary cannot enforce a uniform let alone trousers. If it is a private school they can do what they like.

No state secondary would be daft enough to ban trousers for girls these days.

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 20:09:38

It is a state primary - can you tell me where you get your information so I can include it in our letter to them. Thanks!

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 20:10:47

I should make it clear that this is the Governing Body ("elected by the Parents") and not the school that are responsible for the policy

Normantebbit Fri 04-Mar-11 20:11:21

Certainly in Scotland they cannot force a uniform in Primary school

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:14:47

I'm googling now - will try to find out but there will be legislation that covers it.

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:19:11

this may help

It is down to the governing body as there is no specific legislation but they cannot fall foul of the Sex Discrimination Act -which banning trousers would, presumably.

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 20:26:53

Thanks surryfunge. I can't believe that this is still an issue.

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:29:40

I know, did they give any justification for being so behind the times?

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 20:35:36

No; only what you see in the quote. They did say they had asked the girls if they wanted to wear trousers and that only 3 had replied that they wanted to.

When the various Mums who are looking into this asked their children if they had been asked; the kids all said they had not been asked.

I would have like the consultation document to specifically ask:
Should girls be allowed to wear trousers:
strong agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.
However all they asked were general "what do you like/dislike about the uniform" type questions.

ratspeaker Fri 04-Mar-11 20:35:50

Thought this kind of thinking died out when i left school
In the mid 70s!

AliceWorld Fri 04-Mar-11 20:42:18

Me too. I have experience of fighting it, in the 90s. Can't believe women still have to.

AliceWorld Fri 04-Mar-11 20:42:44

As in they shouldn't have to. Not as in I don't believe you.

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:48:43

Yes, I remember the debate at my secondary school (and we won the right to wear maroon crimplene trousers)in 1979.

I had the same argument in 1989 when I started teaching as to whether a female member of staff should be allowed to wear trousers. I thought it was unbelievable then.

I changed careers in 1996 to policing and was issued with a skirt (though they were quickly disposed of then).

BodleianBabe Fri 04-Mar-11 20:55:05

Oh yes scurryfung when I joined the Police in 1988 they only issued you with skirts. I had to put a special report in asking to be issued with trousers and to be allowed to wear them whilst on duty!!

My Sgt ripped my report up and said I couldn't have them because he didn't like women wearing trousers!!!

I don't think they even issue skirts to Police women now??!

Very surprised that a state primary is enforcing a no trouser rule!!!

McDreamy Fri 04-Mar-11 20:58:21

Girls aren't allowed to wear trousers or boots at our school (state primary). You are not alone.

scurryfunge Fri 04-Mar-11 20:58:44

Yes, they are not issued now. Neither are the lovely leather zip up handbags with a mini truncheon to fit in them grin.

TheCrackFox Fri 04-Mar-11 21:01:16

I can't believe that this is still happening.

I had to wear a skirt to high school (1985-1991) and I had assumed that this practice had died out.

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 21:07:19

If the AIBU board is anything to go by it is quite common...what gets me is that the Governing body is largely female. Is it possible to do a Freedom of info request to get minutes of a school board meeting?

Hulababy Fri 04-Mar-11 21:10:28

State priaries in England cannot enforce any uniform.

DD goes to a private primary school and that has a very strict unifomr code, which includes a pinafore in infants and a skirt in juniors. Which chose the school and have no problemwith the uniform.

And ime, as an adult, I actually don't see the arguement regards the cold. Other arguements maybe but not cod - it doesn't weigh up for me. Trousers are, ime, not warmer than a skirt and tights. Both myself and my DD would and do choose skirt and tights on a cold day than trousers. Also trousers on a wet day are horri as the wet seeps up the bottom if the trousers so much as touch the floor briefly.

bigredtractor Fri 04-Mar-11 21:12:50

When I was in secondary school (90s) we had an almighty rumpus when us girls decided enough was enough to gym knickers and gym skirts for PE instead of an option for shorts.

Pupil power eventually made them see sense so perhaps you could ask some of the girls to write their reasons for wanting trousers. Kind of hard to say no to that, you'd think...?

AliceWorld Fri 04-Mar-11 21:13:58

Re FOI, believe you can. Any public body which they are. You need to word it specifically.

HerBeX Fri 04-Mar-11 21:16:17

Just phone the Equal Opportunities Commission. They'll give you the info you need to deal with this bunch of tossers.
Can't believe this still carries on, where the hell have these people been?

HerBeX Fri 04-Mar-11 21:17:45

My DD prefers trousers because then she can do handstands without anyone seeing her knickers.

If she's wearing a skirt, she doesn't do handstands that day.

Doesn't fit in with their healthy schools policy if they are insisting on girls wearing uniform which may inhibit their physical movement.

21stcentury Fri 04-Mar-11 21:21:14

Thanks Alice and HerBeX,, I'll get on to it Monday.

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