Suffolk

Stowmarket High: Skirts banned at school 'to protect girls' modesty'

Stowmarket High School
Image caption The new uniform will be rolled out to all years from September 2020

A school criticised for banning skirts on modesty grounds has defended its policy.

Stowmarket High School in Suffolk introduced a new uniform policy amid concerns over glass-sided stairwells.

A school newsletter informed parents that, "with modesty in mind", skirts were no longer considered appropriate.

Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan said the reference to modesty was an "error" but claimed the new uniform was "more affordable and smarter".

Image caption Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan said the reference to "modesty" had been a mistake

According to the East Anglian Daily Times, some parents accused the school of "cracking down on girls's behaviour and trying to enforce a "gender-neutral" dress code.

The policy states all year groups must wear the new uniform when the new building opens next September.

'My error'

The ban on skirts has been discussed on Facebook with some parents critical of the move and others supporting it.

Mr Lee-Allan said he thought the glass-sided stairwells could have been another reason for moving away from skirts, but the contractors had assured him this would not be an issue.

He said mentioning modesty in the newsletter was "my error, hands up".

"For years a number of schools in the region have had this particular uniform policy. We have consulted and a group of parents came in and we looked at different options and then asked students and then published our proposals.

"But we can not make all the people happy."

Image caption The new uniform includes a blazer, white shirt, clip-on tie, black shoes and black belt

The new uniform also includes a black blazer with the school's logo on it, a white shirt, a clip-on tie, black shoes, a black belt and black or white shirts.

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