School which banned shorts for boys but allowed skirts to review policy
- Credit: Denise Bradley
A school which banned boys from wearing shorts, but allowed them to wear skirts instead, has announced it is reviewing the policy.
Parents had criticised the new rules brought in by Wymondham High Academy and called for a relaxation, which would give boys the option of shorts during hot weather.
Now, headteacher Jonathan Rockey has written to families informing the policy is now under review.
In the letter, he wrote: "We have had recent communication from some parents in relation to summer uniform who suggested a change in uniform policy, because of the hot weather, to include shorts for all pupils.
"Shorts do not form part of our current uniform policy for boys and girls and this appears to be driving concern for those parents who contacted us.
"Whilst the wearing of shorts for boys and girls is not currently in place, it is actively under review as a result of support demonstrated for this change and the suggestions from our consultation and may form part of the uniform for future years."
Parents have been calling for boys to be allowed to wear shorts for several years.
The controversy flared up in recent days when the school announced change in uniform policy, following a consultation with parents.
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Many hoped that the changes would permit the wearing of shorts. But instead, the ban was kept in place, while permission was granted for all boys to wear skirts, if they wanted to.
In his letter, Mr Rockey also addressed misinterpretations of the policy from some parents - who apparently mistakenly thought the school was instructing boys to wear skirts - rather than simply making it an option.
"The academy is not stating that boys have to wear a skirt, whether during hot weather or not," he added.
"The policy has been in place in the Sixth Form for a number of years and has helped a good number of pupils to adjust to a different identity in the safety of our inclusive community.
"Our policy is not simply about girls and boys being able to wear the same uniform - it is more than that.
"This change is about telling our children they have choice, that they are safe and that they are part of an inclusive organisation that wants every child to be recognised and celebrated."
The gender neutral policy has won support from the Norfolk LGBT+ Project, a wellbeing charity for LGBT+ people in the county.
However, the group said that to be "fully inclusive", all pupils should be allowed to wear shorts.
Fi Liew-Bedford, founder and CEO, said: "We support individuals of all genders having equal options when it comes to deciding what to wear. There should be some element of personal choice when it comes to comfort, and for a uniform policy to be fully inclusive being able to wear shorts in hot weather would be part of this."