04/09/2012 15:39 BST | Updated 05/09/2012 08:50 BST

Haute Valle School In Jersey Bans Schoolgirls' Skirts From Uniform As They Are 'Inappropriate'

A school is looking forward to a skirt-free future after banning pupils from wearing the "inappropriate" clothing.

Haute Vallee School in St Helier, Jersey, has become the latest institution to enforce the no-skirt rule on its pupils, following several schools which made the same decision earlier this year.

Headteacher Caryl Lewis: "Sometimes you have so many variations and skirts can become too short and that is inappropriate in the work place and our school is a work place."

Lewis, who took up her post at the school in 2011, made the decision to switch to trousers after concerns were raised over girls rolling up their skirts to make them shorter.

The schools' uniform guidance already specifies "extremely short/tight skirts are not permitted".

The change does not apply to girls already at the school and will be phased in over the next three years, the BBC reported.

Sarah Sanford from campaign group School Skirts Ban, told The Huffington Post UK: "The choice of wearing either trousers or a skirt is something females have throughout life, including when at work. School uniform should reflect that.

"The message that imposing a shirt, tie and trousers uniform sends is that girls aren't truly valued. Frankly I think that’s sexist and the Equality and Human Rights Commission seem to agree. They advise schools that skirt bans may constitute illegal indirect discrimination and strongly recommend against going down that path. I would like to see a test case brought.

"Last year one school head said that short skirts put girls at risk of a sex attack. That’s a terrible to say and it’s not even true. Still it can look scruffy and schools should enforce length rules, as many successfully do. Frankly it says something about the level of discipline in some of the rest that they think they cannot."

The school is the latest to follow suit in gender-neutral uniform. In March, a college in Hertfordshire made trousers compulsory for girlsscj after deciding skirt length had become a "major issue".

Governors at the school felt skirts could "impact adversely on girls' learning".

A few months later, a Northamptonshire secondary school also banned skirts - in order to combat the "over-sexualisation" of young girls.

At the time, headteacher Trevor Jones said: "Some [skirts] would be more appropriate in a nightclub than in a classroom."

"It is another aspect of body image they don’t have to worry about while they are here."

Some have been campaigning against skirts in schools for a different reason entirely.

Ministers have previously been forced to deny suggestions enforcing gender specific clothing is "potentially unlawful" under gender equality and human rights rules.


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