Girls are banned from wearing skirts in 63 UK secondary schools that together account for 1.5% of the country's secondary schoolgirls. After a big jump in 2011, the rate of new bans appears to be slowing.
This blog charts the rise of the skirt ban (click here for maps) and offers advice on how to fight one if proposed in your school. It also asks - 'is it even legal?'. The government's equalities watchdog thinks it isn't (see here)
(The list of ban schools on this website has been thoroughly researched and is near complete, but information on any omissions grateful received)
So here we are in the summer and the current list is:
Westbourne and Stoke High (both in Suffolk), Grange Technology College (Bradford), Mirfield Grammar (Kirklees), Boroughbridge (North Yorkshire) and Walkwood Middle School (Worcestershire)
It's really pleasing to see all the press bashing the latter for it's ban for nine year olds. As far as I know, school uniform is not legally enforceable on under elevens.
Moving in the other direction we have Brunts (Nottinghamshire), Kirkbie Kendal (Cumbria) and Martin High School (Leicestershire)
We're now approaching the end of the school year and the early indications are that the number of schools bringing in a skirt ban will be down on last year (which in turn was down on the year before that).
The current state of play is that trousers-only policies will be introduced at
- Stoke High School, Ipswich
- Westbourne School, Ipswich
- Grange Technology College, Bradford
plus two other schools that are as yet unconfirmed
On the other hand such policies will no longer apply at
- Brunts Academy, Nottinghamshire
- Kirbie Kendal School, Cumbria
- Martin High School, Leicestershire (after just 1 year)
In addition the change planned for the Greenfields Academy, Birmingham has been abandoned. The map has been updated accordingly.
Just completed the April 2013 run of all my searches and nothing new has come up. A large majority of bans are announced in either May, June or July, but even so that nothing has come up so far is a positive sign.
Just run all my searches again and the news is - there is no news! Last year, there were two January bans and a further two starting in September that had been announced by this point (one of which was later withdrawn). This year there's nothing apart from Castle Vale and even that's not certain.
Even the number of bans threatened in letters that I've picked up - and only a minority are detectable - has fallen from 6 to 2. Don't know if this is a trend or not.
Just for the sake of posting something new, one curiosity my summer searches threw up is Catmose College in Rutland where they've introduced a near ankle length skirt (see here). Looks odd.
There are still a few state secondary schools that are skirts-only - no trousers allowed! It's hard to say how many such schools there are, but there are not less than a couple of dozen in England, mostly in the south east, with many more in Ireland (both North and the Republic) where skirt-only rules are routine.
Two readers of this blog have said that the school either they (or their daughter) attend are considering changing their uniforms to ban trousers. Who knew that was still happening in this day and age?
Just to be clear, this blog is pro-choice and does not endorse skirt or trouser bans.