Mothers across country fight bans on school trousers

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?


Should girls have the right to wear trousers to school?


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  1. BehaviourA

    I cant believe anyone would vote no in this! Surely this is illegal? my own daughter has worn trousers exclusively since about yr 2 (now yr 10). Clearly gender discrimination. Sometimes trousers have not been included on girls uniform lists, but never challenged.
    And yes – boys should be allowed to wear skirts if they choose.

  2. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – Exactly ! Had a headteacher once who preferred his women staff to wear skirts. I laughed ! Left not long after – Grrr

  3. hilaryrfoster

    Sue_Cowley BilboroughDrama I fought (and won) this fight as a teenager in the 80s FFS. Just discovered a school in Sheffield has this rule

  4. hilaryrfoster

    hilaryrfoster Sue_Cowley BilboroughDrama correction: misinformed about Sheffield school. Other one still ridiculous though :-/

  5. Jobaker9

    Sue_Cowley HeadofEnglish isn’t this illegal? I got our sch to change rules when I was 13 by stating sex discrimination act.

  6. Sue_Cowley

    Jobaker9 HeadofEnglish surprisingly apparently not – see my earlier TL for a couple of references from govt and wikipedia.

  7. Sue_Cowley

    Jobaker9 HeadofEnglish but suggestion is that if parent said to school they would mount a legal challenge, the school would back down.

  8. jackiecassell

    SchoolsImprove my #teacher mum supported colleague “am I going to go up ladders with boys looking up my skirt?”, same for kids GeneratingG

  9. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove the “right” ?? I say choose a school whose uniform rules you can live with then stop stressing about it!

  10. FionaTipper

    Duncangreen11 SchoolsImprove I get so sick of these stories, clear uniform rules published…dont like it, don’t go! Seems simple!

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