North East Lincolnshire school bans skirts mid-year

School skirt
Image caption The skirt ban will begin at the start of the new school term in January

A secondary school is banning skirts from its uniform over "health and safety" fears.

Pupils at the Tollbar Academy in New Waltham, North East Lincolnshire, were informed of the decision in a letter.

Some parents are angry that the policy is being introduced in January, requiring them to buy new trousers midway through the school year.

The academy said the ban was introduced to deal with the problem of some students wearing too short skirts.

David Hampson, chief executive of the Tollbar Academy said: "We've had increasing problems with the length of skirts. We don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time chasing pupils about specific issues of dress.

"There is a health and safety issue in this day and age with young ladies and very, very short skirts."

The school's uniform policy states skirts should be no more than 5cm (2ins) above the knee.

'Bad example'

In a statement, the chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Judith Hackitt, said: "This is one of the worst examples we've seen of health and safety being used in completely the wrong context.

"There is nothing in health and safety legislation that allows schools to ban hemlines that aren't to a school's liking."

Wendy Reeves, who has two daughters at the academy, claimed the school had introduced the new regulation without discussing the issue and said the ban should have been brought in before the start of the school year in September.

"I've bought my girls two sets of skirts for school, hopefully to last them the year," she said.

"Now I'm expected by December to go out and buy them trousers and socks to coordinate with."

The change will take place at the start of the new term in January.

Letters enforcing a similar ban will also be going out to parents at Tollbar's partner school, Cleethorpes Academy, this week.

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