School faces backlash after announcing plans to ban girls from wearing skirts

Bridlington School in Hull had claimed the skirts had made male teachers feel 'uncomfortable'

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The Independent Online

A school that announced plans to ban girls from wearing skirts because it makes male teachers feel “uncomfortable” has faced a backlash from hundreds of furious parents and pupils.

Bridlington School in Hull, East Riding, wrote to parents to inform them that all pupils must wear approved trousers bearing the school’s logo.

The new rule was introduced after a male teacher complained to the headteacher that he had been embarrassed when he told a pupil her skirt was too short and she replied that he should not have been looking at her legs.

“The male member of staff was understandably uncomfortable with this and reported it to me immediately,” headteacher Sarah Pashley wrote in the  letter issued to parents.

A petition set up to contest the ban had already attracted more than 1,100 signatures by last night, with some parents branding the school “sexist” and others pointing out that the uniform change – would put them under financial pressure. 

“This will be our third consecutive uniform change in three years. How is that justifiable?” wrote Kay Wardle.

“Families are under more financial pressure than ever before,” she added. “Tesco sells school trousers for around £6 but instead we will have to pay around £20. It’s excessive and wasteful.”

Ms Pashley said in a statement: “Bridlington School believes passionately in high standards of achievement, behaviour and presentation.  We have a very simple uniform which we enforce strictly.

“Our current policy states that knee-length skirts are acceptable.

“Parents buy skirts which are knee length in September. Very often by Christmas their daughter has grown and the skirt is above the knee… As from September students will no longer be allowed to wear skirts.”

Earlier this month members of the Boarding School Association were urged to change the uniform policies at their schools to permit boys to wear skirts in order to make the classrooms more LGBT-friendly. “We should be giving them the option,” said Elly Barnes, a schools advisor for Birmingham and Durham Councils.

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