School bans boys from wearing shorts, telling them to wear skirts instead

It is understood to be part of a gender-neutral uniform policy at Chiltern Edge School

Alina Polianskaya
Monday 04 June 2018 15:25 BST
A new, stricter uniform policy was introduced at the school after it was placed in special measures by Ofsted
A new, stricter uniform policy was introduced at the school after it was placed in special measures by Ofsted

A secondary school in Oxfordshire has reportedly banned boys from wearing shorts in the hot summer months – but said they are free to wear skirts instead if they wish.

Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common recently introduced a new, stricter uniform policy that states pupils can only wear trousers or skirts.

When one parent asked if their son could wear tailored shorts for summer, he said he was told "no" by staff as shorts were not allowed – but as they had a gender-neutral policy, boys could opt to wear skirts.

Father Alastair Vince-Porteous told the Daily Mail: “I was told shorts are not part of the uniform. It’s a shame we can’t be more grown up about it, we aren’t asking for ra-ra skirts or skinny jeans, just grey tailored shorts for two months a year, it’s not a big deal.”

Some other parents also criticised the new uniform, which also introduced blazers, as they did not feel the clothing was appropriate for warmer months.

With temperatures set to reach 26C this week, parents were keen for their children to feel comfortable in the heat.

The stricter clothing policy was one of the changes brought in since the school was placed in special measures, after receiving an “inadequate” rating by Ofsted inspectors in spring last year.

But the school appears to be making progress and the latest Ofsted monitoring inspection from November 2017, said: “Pupils value their new uniform, and they are smart and polite and most conduct themselves well.”

Headteacher Moira Green, who also introduced longer teaching hours since taking on the role, was credited with helping to turn the school around.

She explained that she decided to remove shorts from the uniform after a consultation, as it was decided more "business-like" attire was the way to go.

Ms Green issued a statement which said: “In September 2017, with the support of parents, Chiltern Edge made the decision to move to a more formal uniform. This has been a success.”

She added that the uniform policy was "generic" which meant that it could be purchased from anywhere, and the only piece of branded attire was a school tie, which was given to existing students for free.

The issue, she said, was simply that "shorts do not feature as part of the main school uniform".

The school – which was previously threatened with closure but has since been saved – will be turned into an academy and become part of the Maiden Erlegh Trust in August.

Ms Green added: “Maiden Erlegh Trust, in preparation for September 2018, wholeheartedly support Chiltern Edge’s adoption of a more formal uniform.”

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