Boys wear skirts to school to protest checks on girls' uniforms by male teachers

A school’s efforts to enforce knee-length skirts have been branded ‘draconian’ by parents and sparked mass protests among pupils.

Girls at Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, say they have been routinely herded into a hall for uniform inspections where staff including male teachers check their skirt length with tape measures.

Multiple parents have said their daughters were ‘humiliated’ by the experience, which left some in tears.

One mum claims to have heard staff remarking ‘I can see your knickers’ to girls as they arrived in the morning.

Hundreds of pupils have walked out of lessons in protest at the measures, with boys turning up wearing skirts in solidarity.

The school’s headteacher said complaints will be investigated but blamed the ‘problem’ on ‘challenging’ pupils resisting its long-standing uniform policy.

He has not commented on the inspections but appeared to admit staff had been keeping tally on how long girls were wearing their skirts.

Lisa Cooper, 40, who has a 15-year-old daughter at the school, said: ‘As my daughter walked into school there was a line of teachers looking the girls up and down and deciding if the skirt is a suitable length.

‘If they passed they were allowed to go to registration/form. If they didn’t pass they were forced to line up again separately in front of everyone.

‘My daughter said she felt humiliated, targeted, violated and upset and that there were young girls who were 11-12 years old, crying.

‘They were then taken to the school hall and lectured and further inspected and judged by four male members of staff, including the head.

‘My daughter has been given two after school detentions this week for her skirt length.’

‘The skirt rule in general is outdated and needs to be deleted, it’s sexist and restrictive to the girls.

‘I don’t see why the skirt length is anyone else’s concern except the person who wears it.’

A letter sent to parents in October, seen by the BBC, said its policy is needed so pupils can learn ‘without worrying that actions such as sitting down become overly precarious due to skirt length’.

Headteacher Ian Young told the Liverpool Echo the school came up with a ‘compromise’ after ‘approximately 45% of pupils’ started wearing skirts ‘significantly north of knee length’ this school year, but scrapped it after seeing little change.

No explanation was given as to how the 45% figure was calculated.

In a statement to, he added: ‘Like many schools, we have a clear uniform policy in place and understand there are often sensitivities around this matter.

‘Student voice is important in all aspects of school life, and we have been keen to find an acceptable viewpoint on uniform from all members of our school community. Work has been, and is continuing to be, undertaken with our young people by consulting student leadership teams to find an agreeable solution for both staff and students.

‘Our focus is for all our young people to exemplify and learn the importance of high standards and expectations, so they are ready to contribute to the wider community as successfully as possible.’

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