Parents urge uniform rethink

Bridlington School headteacher Sarah Pashley PA0937-7a
Bridlington School headteacher Sarah Pashley PA0937-7a

Parents at Bridlington School have called for govenors to reconsider the new uniform policy which is banning their children from wearing skirts.

Teenagers who show too much leg face being sent into an “isolation room” for breaching the new uniform code.

The clampdown was ordered after a male teacher was told “You shouldn’t be looking at my legs” by a girl he was ticking off for dressing too skimpy.

Head Sarah Pashley has also accused female students of “pushing the boundaries” by wearing figure-hugging trousers.

But parents are furious at being ordered to buy uniform trousers only from “approved” shops in town including K and A Sales for the new school year starting in September.

Parent Donna Wilson said: “I don’t like the fact parents are being dictated to as to where they have to purchase the uniforms. In my own opinion children are not a one style fits and suits all. This combined with the extra cost of having to purchase trousers from the allocated place over being able to purchase from say supermarkets. I also don’t see how this will stop a small minority from flaunting the rules.”

Parent Tracy White said: “There is not a chance I going to pay double the price for school trousers because they have the school logo on.

“The rate the kids are growing, they will last three month max, and need new. I can see a lot of kids in the ‘uniform room’ come September!”

The families say the restrictions should also apply to female teachers – who are often seen in high heels, short skirts and low-cut blouses.

More than 1,000 parents have petitioned against the new dress code at the Bessingby Road Secondary, who have 830 students on roll.

Speaking to the Free Press, headteacher Sarah Pashley said: “When a male member of staff challenged a female student on her skirt length, she retorted ‘You shouldn’t be looking at my legs’.

“The male member of staff was understandably uncomfortable with this and reported it to me immediately.

“Male pastoral staff asked me to share this incident with the governing body when uniform was reviewed.”

“We, as a school, are happy to review the dress code of our teachers. I am satisfied with the clothing my staff wear but we will look into this.”

The row blew up after the head sent 600 letters to parents, complaining: “Trousers are a constant problem because of ever-changing fashions and some students pushing the boundaries in terms of purchasing ‘skinny’, tight-fitting trousers from non-uniform suppliers.

“This causes confrontation between staff and students and also between the school and some parents/carers, who feel that the trousers they have bought do conform to the school uniform policy.

“If trousers also have to be purchased from a school uniform supplier and have a logo on them, then this problem will no longer exist.”

Parent Shirley Robinson said: “Surely if the students didn’t conform before they won’t again regardless of a logo or not. We are a low income family but will not be eligible to receive any help with costs from the school as we do not claim benefits, it’s an absolute disgrace!”

The school held a meeting on Tuesday (19 May) with 41 parents/carers to discuss the uniform amendments.

Ms Pashley said: “The Governors and I are very grateful to those parents/carers who have made suggestions as to how the school can implement the necessary amendments to our school uniform more effectively.

“As a result we have sourced an embroidery company who will embroider the logo onto trousers purchased from non school-uniform suppliers, providing the trousers conform to the policy. The school will co-ordinate this process.”