Diss High skirts ban sparks national media debate on issue


Diss High School’s decision to ban skirts from its uniform has brought a wave of media attention on the town with the policy sparking a national debate.

The ban, which was agreed by governors, will also see all make-up wearing for those in Years 7 to 11 stopped.

All pupils will have to wear grey trousers from September.

It was in part in response to some pupils who were considered to be wearing skirts which were “very short and inappropriate in a school environment”.

And this week the story made national newspapers including the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun, which described a “raunchy uniforms ban”. The policy has also been debated on ITV’s This Morning and Loose Women, a daytime chat show.

On This Morning, media personality Christine Hamilton said: “What has gone wrong with discipline at that school where they can’t enforce a hem level?”

Dr Jan Hunt, headteacher of Diss High School, said schools often reviewed uniforms. She added: “A focus group made up of students, staff and governors, recently met to look at our uniform and see if it could be improved.

“They recommended that, from September, all students should wear the same grey trousers. This means that the uniform policy will be the same for all children, regardless of their gender.

“The change will help to ensure that all children are dressed smartly and will mean that students will no longer be able to wear skirts that are very short and inappropriate in a school environment.”

The school said it spoke to parents about the issue at parents evenings, and said many were pleased they would not have to confront the issue of skirt length at home. The school will also offer financial support to parents.

A parent at the school, who did not wish to be named, told the Diss Express: “My daughter is in Year 7 and wears a skirt from the official school uniform supplier. I do not think it fair or reasonable to chastise pupils such as my daughter by banning school skirts. Surely those that break the rules should be punished?”

Florence Ellis, of Diss, a former secondary school teacher, and governor at Manor Field Infant and Nursery School in Long Stratton, said the decision was wrong.

She said: “There are already (uniform) rules and regulations and it (school) is a place where young people learn about how to fit in to society. It is part of growing up.”

What do you think? Is Diss High School right to ban skirts as part of its uniform? Will a trousers-only policy help the learning environment? Comment below, email editorial@dissexpress.co.uk, or write to Diss Express, Mere Street, Diss Norfolk, IP22 4AE.

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