The Times is reporting that mothers of girls across the country are challenging schools that have banned them from wearing trousers.
The paper reports that one parent, Katia Chornik, has been campaigning for a year without success to change the uniform rules at Kingston Grammar School in west London. She is quoted:
“Several parents have raised the issue before me. The parents I have spoken to do not see why girls should not be allowed to wear trousers… The school utterly refutes that it is gender discrimination but if it is not gender discrimination, then what is it?”
A mother whose daughter attends Sacred Heart Catholic primary school in Teddington is reported as having asked the headteacher if her child could wear trousers but was told that they weren’t smart enough. She is quoted:
“I find it anachronistic that in 2015 girls are forced to wear skirts… In politics, women wear trousers so why in schools do they force them to wear skirts?”
The paper adds that in 1999, a mother – Claire Hale – and her daughter Jo won the backing of the Equal Opportunities Commission when they threatened legal action against Whickham School in Gateshead, after it refused to let Jo wear trousers. The school subsequently changed its rules to avoid a costly legal battle. It reports Mrs Hale, a professor at the University of Leeds, as finding it hard to believe that what they fought for more than a decade ago was still happening.
A lawyer, David Pannick QC, is reported as suggesting that, even though uniform has been an issue since the Sex Discrimination Act came into effect, courts and tribunals are generally dismissive of claims in relation to ‘grooming codes’.
More at: Mothers fight ban on school trousers (subscription may be required)
So we have some schools banning skirts and insisting on trousers for their girls, and others banning trousers and insisting on skirts.
All seems a bit random, doesn’t it?
What do you think – should all girls have the right to wear trousers to school if they prefer?
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