A headmistress at a £28,500-a-year boarding school has banned her female students from wearing short skirts and too much make-up so they can stay focused and "committed to learning".
Rose Hardy, head of St Margaret's School in Bushey, Hertfordshire, has imposed the uniform rules on A-level students after deciding the young women were spending too much time deciding what to wear.
"Girls, in particular, need to feel good about themselves aesthetically, and these changes are aimed at allowing them to remain committed to learning, instead of having the added pressure of deciding what to wear every morning," she told the Telegraph.
"We want them to be happy, confident and comfortable, as they make some of the most important decisions of their academic lives. The sixth form in particular, are also ambassadors for the school and are role models for the younger girls."
The sixth formers must now wear tailored suits which match in both colour and material, tights which are natural or dark, and make up and nail varnish must be "discreet". Socks are banned, as are boots, trainers, sandals and canvas shoes. The students must wear formal shirts or blouses with a collar, and any jumpers must be "thin" and not extend past the suit jacket.
Some have questioned the thinking behind the decision, saying:
@HPYoungVoices how about we take focus off dress code so teachers can commit to educating students about equality and acceptable behaviour— Meg Doherty (@Megzter_123) June 15, 2015
@HPYoungVoices stupid. ridiculous. uniform does not affect learning!!!— Florence Grace (@flomatthews_) June 15, 2015
@HPYoungVoices in one way it stops other pupils getting distracted, but it may seem a bit all "Political Correctness". Madness...— XE3lviar (@Darawindor) June 15, 2015
A spokesperson for the all-girls school added: "Our headmistress herself has three girls, and the majority of her teaching career has been at all girl's schools,” a spokeswoman for the school added.
"So if there's anyone who knows about how to educate girls and get the best out of them, it's her."