School trouser ban goes to law
Wednesday 01 September 1999
Two pairs of nylon tights are not enough to protect 14-year-old Jo Hale from the winter cold in the schoolyard, says her mother, Claire, a professor in healthcare studies at Leeds University. Trousers would be warmer and cheaper, she has told governors at Whickham Comprehensive in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
After they rejected her appeals to allow girls to wear trousers instead of the uniform skirt, she decided to take legal action under the Sex Discrimination Act. Males and females are allowed different dress codes under the Act, but only if it does not disadvantage either sex.
Yesterday, the commission said it was supporting the case "to clarify case law". A spokeswoman said: "This is 1999 and a lot of women are allowed to wear trousers to work. Why shouldn't a child be allowed to wear trousers to school? We want to ... get clarification on the reasons why girls should not be allowed to wear trousers and what this means about the stereotyped assumptions about girls." The commission was writing to the Department for Education and Employment and to the school, outlining why it was supporting the case.
Ms Hale, 47, believes girls are disadvantaged by skirts because they offer less freedom of movement, less protection against assault and are more expensive for parents. The decision to proceed was a joint one between herself and her daughter, she said. "I think it is important for girls of that age to realise that they can do something. I do not think that teenage girls should be sitting down and saying, `These are the rules and they must always be like this - we can do nothing about them."
Peter Maughan, a parent governor and Gateshead councillor, said: "I am obviously disappointed by the decision of the EOC .... Other parents are irritated that Mrs Hale is pursuing this case when it was she who sought out the school for her daughter and was fully aware of the dress code."
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...