‘Catering to Woke Trends’: Critics Slam UK School's ‘Gender-Neutral’ Ban on Girls Wearing Skirts

© AFP 2023 / Andy Buchanan Ученики школы Холируд в Глазго, Шотландия
Ученики школы Холируд в Глазго, Шотландия - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2022
At least 40 secondary schools in England have already banned girls from wearing skirts, according to an analysis of uniform policies across the country, cited by The Independent, with other schools also considering the move as being “more inclusive of transgender pupils".
Tiverton High School (THS) has banned girls from wearing skirts to create a “more gender-neutral” uniform policy, Devon Live has reported.
Parents of the co-educational or mixed-gender secondary school in Devon, UK, were informed on 9 June that the “modifications” would be coming into effect from September this year.
In line with the new rules, female pupils will have to ditch their skirts - which at present are permitted - and attend lessons wearing only trousers. The sole exception are Physical Education (PE) sessions.
“We will follow other secondary schools in implementing a more gender-neutral uniform policy. Parents/carers will be pleased to know that the majority of the uniform will remain as it is, with the exception that from September all students will be expected to wear trousers," Sammy Crook, the school's headmistress, was cited as saying.
Besides seeking to establish a more “gender-neutral uniform,” the school attributed the change to a purportedly persistent problem of girls wearing their skirts shorter than knee length. Crook claimed it had become both “frustrating” and “time consuming” for school staff to enforce the school’s skirt length policy. She also said that parents had been informed about these concerns last November.

“In January we held a series of assemblies with all year groups about skirts, advising them that unless the uniform policy was properly observed we would move to an all-trousers policy. Our current policy has allowed girls to wear trousers, which many do already, and boys have been able to wear skirts if they want to,” Crook said.

The school's headmistress insisted that trousers would “standardise” how students dress, allowing greater focus on the “primary objective: learning". The trousers are not to be limited to one brand, with a selection of options offered to parents pertaining to the style, fit and price.
THS also hailed the move as ending up being cheaper for parents, and added that shorts will continue to be permitted in the summer term.
Furthermore, exceptions will be allowed in cases where there is a “medical or other need” to wear a skirt.

Catering to ‘Woke Trends’

However, the change, introduced without consulting parents or pupils, has triggered outrage.
Some parents slammed what they saw as a manifestation of a “complete lack of democracy”. According to them, the established pupil forums were not allowed to offer any “input” on school uniform changes.
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Overall, around 40 schools in England have already banned skirts as part of their policy to make uniforms more inclusive of transgender pupils.
At Copleston High School in Ipswich, skirts are listed among other unacceptable items of clothing, such as “skinny jeans and facial piercings”, the Sunday Times reported. The school’s pupils are all required to wear “plain grey trousers”.
Schools in Leeds, Grimsby and Bradford, where there is a high proportion of Muslim pupils, do not allow skirts for modesty reasons. Numerous others schools in the country are also believed to be considering switching to “gender-neutral” uniforms.
News about Tiverton High School’s move also triggered backlash on social media, with users deploring this catering to “woke trends” and “girls/women being erased by society”.
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