A school is banning female students as young as nine from wearing skirts deeming them "unladylike" as they are too short.

Walkwood Church of England Middle School in Redditch is believed to be the first in England to stop pupils under the age of 13 from wearing skirts. Schoolgirls will be made to wear trousers instead after the situation became "difficult", according to the Birmingham Mail.

Headteacher David Doubtfire said some of the older pupils were "beginning to wear extremely short skirts".

"It was becoming difficult, especially when it came to them sitting down in the school hall," he explained. "It was very unladylike. We would ask them to make their skirts longer, but they would just roll them up again when we turned away."

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The move has been branded "crazy" by some parents who feel the ban is going to "confuse" young girls.

"You hear so much about the over sexualisation of children these days but to call a nine-year-old girl unladylike is absurd," one parent told the Daily Telegraph. "They aren't ladies, they are young girls. And to stop them from wearing skirts is just going to confuse them.

"I've always been against skirt bans, but I understand there has to be a limit for teenagers as they are turning into young women. But not for girls as young as nine, that's just crazy."

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A spokesperson from campaign group School Skirt Ban said: "We were told that although there is no legal precedent, the Commission would strongly advise schools against doing this.

“This is because such an action would, in practice, prohibit girls from wearing skirts, which could be considered a case of indirect discrimination."