Secondary school brings in new gender neutral dress code allowing boys to wear skirts – even though they are STILL banned from wearing shorts in summer
- Wymondham High Academy is allowing pupils the option of trousers or skirts
- But the school still has an all-out ban on shorts, angering some of their parents
- ‘It would be gender neutral to offer shorts to both boys and girls,’ said one
- The school has doubled down and insists it is ‘very proud’ of its new policy
A Norfolk secondary school has adopted a new gender neutral dress code allowing boys and girls the options of trousers or skirts, while sticking to its ban on shorts.
The new policy is to be introduced at Wymondham High Academy in September following a consultation with parents.
Parents have previously called for a relaxation of the uniform rules to allow pupils to wear shorts instead on hot days during the summer.
The school agreed to review its uniform rules, and is now allowing boys and girls to wear either trousers or skirts in the school’s existing style.
Jonathan Rockey, the headteacher of the 1,705-pupil school, defended the new policy as ‘something we are very proud of’ and insisted it flowed from a consultation with pupils’ families.
Wymondham High Academy in Norfolk has adopted a new gender neutral policy allowing boys and girls to wear skirts or trousers, while keeping its ban on shorts
One parent said: ‘A skirt is an item of clothing traditionally associated with girls so although it is absolutely fine for a boy to wear a skirt, many boys and girls might feel uncomfortable about that and would choose to wear shorts.’
Another parent said: ‘I don’t have any issues with boys wearing skirts.
‘That isn’t the problem here. I’m sure many girls would also like the opportunity to wear shorts instead of trousers in hotter months.’
The new uniform policy was introduced after more than 400 parents took part in a survey, with a large number calling for a ‘summer uniform’ to be introduced.
The exercise produced two changes – allowing boys and girls to wear trousers or skirts, and requiring girls to wear ties as well as boys.
The school’s new uniform policy was introduced after a survey of over 400 parents, and produced just two changes – allowing boys and girls to wear trousers or skirts but not shorts – and requiring girls to wear ties as well as boys (Pictured: Boys at another schools playing happily while wearing shorts)
Outlining the rules on the school website, headteacher Mr Rockey said that a requirement for all pupils to wear blazers all year around had already been relaxed.
He also said the school had not ruled out further updating its uniform policy in the future.
Mr Rockey wrote: ‘All pupils will have the choice to wear either a grey school skirt or grey school trousers (existing style). ALL OTHER ITEMS OF UNIFORM REMAIN THE SAME.
‘To be clear, this designation of a gender-neutral dress code is nothing more than ensuring that clothing choices are equal regardless of gender.’
In a further comment about the rule, he wrote: ‘Whilst I do not believe the changes are substantial, I wanted to provide adequate notice for the changes we intend to implement as they represent a positive shift in culture.’
Girls can continue wearing skirts in the hot weather, but a ban on shorts is in place by the school
Mr Rockey’s letter said that the new rules had been drawn up with the ‘support and guidance’ of the school’s governors.
He clarified that all Year 7 pupils would be expected to wear a shirt and tie at the start of the next term in September, and other pupils in Years 8 to 11 will be able to ‘choose’ whether to adopt the uniform
But the shirt and tie rule will then become compulsory for all years from September 2023.
The school did not respond to further requests to comment.
The school’s Ofsted report in 2017 noted: ‘Pupils take pride in their work, they are smart in their unforms and welcoming to visitors’.
One mother, who has a son in Year Seven, said she had kept him off school earlier this month, when temperatures soared over 30C.
She said: ‘It was the hottest day of the year, so I decided I would rather have my son at home and cool than at school and boiling hot.’