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Bloody school skirts!

36 replies

Frouby · 25/09/2018 20:07

Dd (14) came home from school today upset because she is in approximately half the school year group of girls who have been told their skirts are unacceptable.

The uniform policy states 'skirts must be straight, black, not jersey or stretch and not pencil. Must not be more than 10cms above knees'. On the school website, under the uniform policy there is a photograph of a girl wearing a slightly A line/skater skirt with pleats. This has a green tick presumably saying this skirt is acceptable.

A few girls asked why their skirts weren't acceptable. Answers included 'A line', 'skater style' and ' pleated' along with 'too short' or 'jersey or stretch material'.

Dd is in exactly the same skirts she wore last term. We bought 1 new skirt this holidays as she had 4 new ones in May. She had one of her older ones on today. She didn't ask why hers was unsuitable but I presume it's either the skater/A line shape or the pleats. It's almost identical to the one with a green tick on the website. It's not 10cm above her knee either.

Have asked the school by email for clarification. The school got taken over by an academy last year after a poor ofsted report. We were specifically told there would be no change to uniform policy, but that there may be more enforcement of the existing one. Which is fine.

But AIBU to expect that DDs skirt, that matches the one used by the school as an example of correct uniform by considered acceptable. I asked DD if she was wearing it shorter at the time and she says not ajd I do believe her, she is quite conservative and a rule follower so can't see her rolling the top of her skirt up.

Also if they do say it is not acceptable for whatever reason, where the fuck do I find straight, black, not pleated, not A line, not pencil not jersey material skirts to fit a size 4/6 waist that is not 10cm above her knee?

Have looked online at Next, Asda, Tu, Tesco and George so far. She needs to try them on first. She is tall and skinny so if I buy her size it will be too big around the waist. But aged 10-11 will be too short.

OP posts:
OddBoots · 25/09/2018 20:11

That sounds like a real pain.

Not cheap but Trutex do a range of waist and length that might work

Yambabe · 25/09/2018 20:15

Send her in trousers?

garethsouthgatesmrs · 25/09/2018 20:17

You are right to email school. Did you attach a pic of dd's skirt and a link to their website. They should answer you and they can also tell you where to find such a skirt. This would massively annoy me.

ShawshanksRedemption · 25/09/2018 20:24

I would get it straight from the school as to why your DDs skirt in unacceptable when it matches the one on the school website.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince · 25/09/2018 20:34

Fashion lecturer and ex pattern cutter here.

If they can’t have pencil skirts then they have to have A line. People have to be able to walk! Ditto pleats.

I would ask the school to describe their ideal skirt and then come on here and I’ll vet it for you!

A pencil skirt has to have a split or pleat to enable ease of movement. If they can’t have that, nor pleats,nor skater style nor A line, then what are they actually supposed to wear?!

Frouby · 25/09/2018 20:36

I haven't attached the picture yet, screenshotted it tho in case it disappears.

I get and completely agree with school uniform and agree it should be enforced. But it feels really unfair if they are changing it or their interpretation of the rules in September. I can afford new skirts if absolutely necessary, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Yambabe she hasn't wore school trousers since she was 6. And I think we would have the same problem with the length/waist ratio.

Am also annoyed with the way it was done. Apparently all the girls from her year group were led in the hall past a desk with 2 teachers from the academy that has just taken over. The girls were sent either back out or told to take a seat. Then the girls kept back were given a long lecture on skirts, with particular reference to length and material because too short is inappropriate as well as clingy fabric. One girl braver than DD asked why it was inappropriate and was told if she didn't like it, find another school.

Not sure how much of this is teenage embellishment but DD says I am not the only parent annoyed.

Thanks for the link Oddboots, hopefully I won't need it. They are spendy though! Usually pay about £6 a skirt. Will be annoyed if I end up spending that much. I can't see anywhere locally that has anything like that. Even Next and M and S have jersey fabric for their straight skirts, and no cotton ones without pleats or skater style.

OP posts:
bridgetreilly · 25/09/2018 20:50

If it's not A-line, skater, pencil or pleated, what's left? Full skirts? Which are the least suitable for school, I would have thought. I'd be ringing up to get the school to identify at least five suitable skirts which are available locally at a reasonable price. Bet they can't.

garethsouthgatesmrs · 25/09/2018 21:21

I'd be ringing up to get the school to identify at least five suitable skirts which are available locally

This is a good idea. It sounds ridiculous and the school need to see how difficult this is for parents.

Frouby · 25/09/2018 21:30

That's a brilliant idea bridgetrielly. I will be all sweetness and light, link to the photo and ask where I can find one like this locally but not A line/skater/pleated etc.

I will also point out that the school is a state school in a northern town in a mixed area with a high FSM ratio and it needs to be affordable for all parents not just the more well off.

And ideally a uniform change, if that's what it is, needs to be implemented slowly and not the 3rd week in September.

OP posts:
OhFlipMama · 25/09/2018 21:33

This is awful. The way they approached it with the girls, the way it's been left until September when parents have already purchased uniform, the unclear rules. I hope you can sort it out.

Spanglylycra · 25/09/2018 21:34

Oh this takes me back. I'm tall and always got told off for my skirt being too high above the knees (like an inch - standard school skirt length). However in "my day" we weren't allowed a straight skirt. I do wish schools would focus on teaching and not what skirt girls have. I'm all for teaching some rules but a bit of common sense wouldn't go amiss.

FrenchFancie · 26/09/2018 04:49

Uniform policies like this annoy me.
What is the reason behind it all? What is the ‘mishcief’ The policy is trying to prevent? And what equivalent burden is placed on the boys? (I assume thier trousers must have a specified amount of ease, not be too tight or too lose to avoid distracting the girls, otherwise this is plain sexist).
I would go with asking the school to produce a list of ‘acceptable’ skirts, sources locally and within a reasonable budget.
Also those requirements sound impossible to achieve. There has to be an acknowledgment that girls bodies differ and a skirt that is acceptable on someone 5 feet tall may not be ‘acceptable’ on her 5 foot 6 classmate, but through no fault of the girl or her parents

HappyStripper · 26/09/2018 05:16

There have been some very valid points made and I would ask the school to clarify which skirts are acceptable. The one thing I wouldn’t rule out though is some teenage embellishment and her possibly rolling it up. To put it in perspective we had a grand total of 2 girls at school who’s skirt was an appropriate length at that age, everyone else had something shorter or rolled it up pretty significantly. It’s quite likely a good proportion of the girls were getting in trouble for the rolling up alone even if wearing the perfect skirt.

BalloonSlayer · 26/09/2018 06:55

It's very difficult for schools to recommend skirts because as soon as they think they have cracked the problem, some girls find a way round it.

I bought skirts for my DD before she started year 7. She informed me that they were not allowed as they had pleats so they went to the charity shop unworn. 5 years later the school has just introduced a compulsory skirt that is exactly the same. In the interim they have had a pencil style skirt that almost every girl rolled up & looked hideous (even my never-break-a-rule DD because she also follows her peers'rules IYSWIM) and meant that girls couldn't sit on the floor without showing their knickers. Which was presumably why the pleated ones were rejected in the first place, because people could potentially see up their skirts when going upstairs. The skirts was also supposed to be an inch above the knee but only came in 2 lengths which were shorter in the smaller sizes. So if you were tall and slim you got a shorter skirt than your shorter heavier friend . . . ouch.

It's infuriating for parents but also very difficult for the school.

ASauvignonADay · 26/09/2018 07:03

Sure she hadn't has it rolled at the waisted or hoisted up?

CheeseOnToast123 · 26/09/2018 07:10

I’m always amazed when I read these uniform threads, our town must be quite slack. The more stricter school, the only one which a blazer is mandatory, states that skirts must be mid thigh length or longer. However I see a girl around 14/15 walking there every morning with the shortest shirt I’ve ever seen on someone, and skin tight. I’m not exaggerating when I say it covers her bum with about 2mm to spare.

Gileswithachainsaw · 26/09/2018 07:12

I'm not sure that skirt exists . There is nothing wrong surely with pleated skirts or skater skirts as long as they comply with the length rule or whatever

And wtf are you suloosed to do when the example approved on the website is suddenly not ok Confused

Me thinks you will have to end up paying ££ for sone hideous monstrosity from a designated supplier because parents apparently couldn't comply with the rules as it was basically impossible to (made so on purpose!!) And they take it in from the supplier.

Gileswithachainsaw · 26/09/2018 07:12

Rake it in

WhipItGood · 26/09/2018 07:53

My Dd is very tall. Even buying the right skirt from the recommended shop looked shorter on her than others her age (although even the picture on their site shows it above the knees)

Why don’t they just make the damn things longer? Everywhere that sells school skirts sells them short.

One year I bought skirts about 3x too big just to gain a cm in length and spent ££s getting them altered. The alterations cost twice the price of the skirts. It was very expensive.

Three weeks into term the whole skirt length issue fizzled out and no longer seemed an issue judging by the short skirts that were being worn again so I don’t know why we bothered Hmm Every August I’d be trawling around trying to solve this issue.

She’s left school now..the relief!

DayManChampionOfTheSun · 26/09/2018 08:09

If schools are going to be this precious, they need to provide a shop that sells the correct uniform and ensure there is the right sort for tall/short fat/thin children. I liked having a uniform at school, everyone looked smart but I cannot remember having all these checks. I certainly don't think anyone was suspended or put into isolation because of a uniform violation!

Every year this happens, they should get on with teaching. It's not a destraction for a boy to have long hair, or a girl to have suede shoes instead of patent leather ones.

Jamiefraserskilt · 26/09/2018 08:48

Our skirts were a line with a single pleat about crotch level. Anyone with a tummy used to struggle as by design they were tight across the hips. School need to be specific regarding style as people have said, how are they supposed to walk or sit on the floor?!

SnuggyBuggy · 26/09/2018 08:50

If they're that fussy they need a proper uniform skirt


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SassitudeandSparkle · 26/09/2018 09:04

DD's secondary is very strict on uniform and sells the skirt themselves in three lengths (handy if you've got a tall daughter like me!) and are not the only school to do so locally.

Most of the girls seem to wear it at the shortest possible length though, the school has a 'width band' above and below the knee of acceptability, so nothing too long or too short.

It does seem to be a current trend to be super-strict on uniform, although I also think it's understandable that wearers try to put their own spin on it occasionally - one school locally has even moved to clip-on ties to prevent originality in that area! There are a few schools here that you can only buy the uniform from the school itself.

The OP's description of the 'acceptable' uniform skirt sounds like the same Banner one that my DD has.

shouldwestayorshouldwego · 26/09/2018 09:11

I would not be surprised if their next step is to introduce a skirt which is logoed and only the school can provide but which doesn't fit anyone taller/ shorter/ fatter/ thinner than average.

FishesaPlenty · 26/09/2018 09:40

I would not be surprised if their next step is to introduce a skirt which is logoed

Don't get me started. We had a situation where we were forced to buy polo shirts for a tenner each because of a cosy deal between the school and a local uniform supplier which was apparently run by a relative of one of the governors. They were no better than the 3 for a fiver stuff at Asda, but with a printed logo on.

There really is scope for a mandatory 'catalogue' approach to school uniforms where all state schools have to pick their basic uniform designs from say 10 blazer and jumper colours (with standardised but variable 'trim'), 6 skirts, 6 trousers, and clothing retailers agree to sell those items and compete with each other.

DS had two uniform changes at secondary school as the school changed from a crap LA school to a crap Academy and then a second crap Academy. New uniforms were compulsory - high teaching standards were apparently optional. Angry

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