My feed

to access all these features

Petitions and activism

Trousers for All - campaigning against the trouser ban at schools

23 replies

GirlsWearTheTrousers15 · 04/05/2016 10:22

Hi all,

I would like to invite you to join the discussion on the issue of UK schools banning girls from wearing trousers (still in 2016!). We have a campaign website ( , a FB group ( and a Twitter feed (@trousersforall). All welcome!

OP posts:
MiniMover · 04/05/2016 10:24

Do you have a link to trousers being banned? Because it sounds a bit unlikely to me.

MsMargaretCarter · 04/05/2016 10:29

Insane that this is an issue in 2016. So glad this madness isn't in our local schools!

GirlsWearTheTrousers15 · 04/05/2016 10:29

In areas such as Richmond, around 30% of all schools ban girls from wearing long trousers and many more ban girls from wearing shorts, when boys are allowed both.

OP posts:
PatriciaHolm · 04/05/2016 10:51

The school my DD will be going to in Sept has only just, about a year ago, allowed the girls to wear trousers. It was a key reason that DD didn't like the school initially.

It is an all girls school so they don't have to deal with the argument that the boys can so why can't the girls, but I did think it absurd. Fortunately they have changed the uniform this year.

chamenager · 04/05/2016 10:52

We are not in or near Richmond.

When we were looking at schools, I looked at the uniform policy of the school I liked most, and realised that it required girls to wear dresses/skirts, with trousers only allowed if there are extremely low temperatures and HT has explicitly advised that on this day only, trousers are allowed.
Not that school then, I thought, and looked at the others. Only to find that every local (state) primary school has uniform policies prohibiting girls from wearing trousers.

Going back to re-visit the schools, I brought this issue up with the HTs. I was told that girls couldn't be allowed trousers, or else boys would have to be allowed dresses/skirts too, and where would that take us?

So yes, it clearly still is an issue.

ShanghaiDiva · 04/05/2016 10:56

I don't imagine many boys would want to wear a skirt, but the option should be there and it's not going to result in the end of the world.
I wore trousers to secondary school back in 1980 and can't believe it's not normal uniform :(

NynaevesSister · 04/05/2016 11:00

Where would that lead us?

I hope you replied 'to being a fair and equal society'.


NynaevesSister · 04/05/2016 11:05

I had a similar conversation with someone about the head telling girls not to dress immodestly. Frankly cannot believe we are in 2016 and schools are still imposing gender based uniform policy.

This should be an example of a standard uniform policy:

Grey trousers (not cargo or combat style), grey skirt or pinafore (not more than 1/2 inch above the knee), grey shorts (not more than 1/2 inch above knee). Students whose uniform do not meet this criteria will, in the first transgression be given a warning, and in the second transgression will be sent home to change.

See no need to mention gender or tell boys that they are so mindless they can't control themselves and its thre girl's fault for wearing a short skirt.

MiniMover · 04/05/2016 11:58

Sorry are you talking about primary schools? As non academy primary schools aren't allowed to dictate any uniform whatsoever. They all have a suggested uniform if course but they cannot insist upon it. Different st secondary.

GirlsWearTheTrousers15 · 04/05/2016 12:11

I hope you can join the Trousers for All Facebook group and follow the campaign on Twitter. There are quite a few developments happening now.

OP posts:
bakeoffcake · 04/05/2016 13:46

It's ridiculous and discriminatory.

Are there any other examples of rules where boys and girls are treated differently?

drspouse · 04/05/2016 14:11

non academy primary schools aren't allowed to dictate any uniform whatsoever

Are you sure? I'm pretty sure they are - I've heard some people say that they can't in Reception but that this is a myth too.

pratiaalba · 04/05/2016 14:20

What would happen if you sent your girl into school in trousers? Would school remove them? Highly unlikely, I'd have thought. Surely only independent schools can actually enforce uniform rules?

Cleo1303 · 04/05/2016 14:42

The girls at my dd's school were given the option to wear trousers but no-one wanted to and the uniform supplier has been left with dozens of uniform trousers which have been reduced to clear. It's a co-ed school, but the girls are clearly not interested in wearing trousers.

PatriciaHolm · 04/05/2016 15:03

There is no law relating to uniform, just statutory guidance. Schools are perfectly at liberty to set their own uniform rules, provided they don't discriminate unlawfully (on the basis of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or belief.) There is no legal requirement to have uniform at all, it's up to the individual governing bodies of the schools; but if the school has a uniform, it can enforce it.

Schools can discipline children who do not follow the uniform rules, all the way up to suspension or expulsion.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr · 04/05/2016 15:06

How is a code which has separate uniforms for girls and boys not discriminating on gender?

PatriciaHolm · 04/05/2016 16:18

According to the 2010 Equality Act,
"differences in dress requirements for girls and boys are standard, and where they don’t have significantly more detrimental effects on one sex or the other they are unlikely to be regarded as discriminatory."

Which is how schools get away with it. They argue that as long as the uniforms can be sourced in the same places and are no more expensive, there is no discrimination.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr · 04/05/2016 16:28

You cannot climb in a skirt as easily as a pair of trousers? So there's a clear detrimental effect isn't there?

drspouse · 04/05/2016 16:33

You can, but you may not want to, especially past the first primary years.

PatriciaHolm · 04/05/2016 16:48

ah, but is it "significantly more detrimental"?!

This is how lawyers make their money!

MiniMover · 04/05/2016 17:09

The op really needs to stop spamming the thread constantly though. It's an unacceptable policy for schools to hold but she's doing her cause no favours by repeatedly posting the same thing without engaging in the conversation.

MiniMover · 04/05/2016 17:11

Ok it's been moved now with repeated posts removed so my post makes no sense.

FuzzyWizard · 16/05/2016 20:54

The school I teach in doesn't have trousers. It's an all girl's school so they aren't 'banned' as such. They just aren't part of the uniform at all. The other girls' school in our borough also doesn't have trousers at all. Every so often our girls petition for trousers, the head had some designs done and presented them to the school council. they all said they were hideous and not the sort they wanted (they want to be allowed the clingy new-look style black ones that another local school allows). Apparently utilitarian, sensible ones in the school tartan are way worse than the kilts Grin The school council decided to just stick with skirts.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.