We are chasing the holy grail of knee-length skirts, without slits and which are not tight.
To avoid slits and stretchy material we have added a requirement that skirts be bought from the school shop. This is now school policy.
We want to be sensible and helpful. We are aware of cost and that for some girls the fit may not be quite right. For this reason we are not going to insist on the rule for its own sake. If a student turns up in a knee-length skirt that is not made of stretchy material and doesn't have a slit it will be fine. We will not be checking labels for the sake of an argument.
If someone turns up in a short skirt that is tight or has a slit, it clearly won't be from the shop and we will insist that this is rectified. In most cases we will provide a skirt, send an invoice and insist it is worn. We will not be teaching students alongside their classmates if they don't turn up in proper uniform, neither will they be allowed to mix with others in social time.
The fashion for boys has shifted from baggy and round the knees to skin tight and bunched at the ankles. It isn't fair on the girls if they are asked to adhere to a traditional school uniform but the boys can customise things according to fashion. We are going to insist that they buy trousers that are tailored, not gathered at the ankle. If there is any doubt that they are appropriate, they probably aren't. Chinos and jeans are not school trousers. Nothing with a pocket on the outside qualifies.
This is a choice parents will be making when they send their children to school in, or out of, the correct uniform. It would be unreasonable to send a child into school dressed in the wrong skirt or trousers and complain when we react in exactly the way we have said we will.
Please let us know if money is an issue and we will happily help out. You don't have to be on free school meals. There are times when most families find this sort of expense just one bit too much, especially where more than one child is concerned. The school does not take one penny out of the uniform budget for anything else. We work hard to keep costs down. This is simply about making the uniform so that students look ready for study and nobody can be singled-out or form groups to be seen as more 'cool' than their peers.
I hope you understand. We are keen not to have parents surprised by enforcement that comes out of the blue. We hope to reassure those who complain that the infringements of uniform let the school down, while limiting the chance of parents looking miserable on the front of the local paper with their child at home because being dressed for a party doesn't, in their view, affect their child's education.
Thank you. I love working here and support on matters like this, especially from those who don't fully agree, is a major reason why it is such a great place to teach.
I hope everyone is enjoying a great summer, despite the weather.
- Mr Willis