British Students Left Out In Cold After Skirts Deemed Too Short

According to reports, several high school students at a school in Kent were rejected from the school gates because their skirt lengths were deemed inappropriate.

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Student skirts | ELLE UK
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When we weren't being dragged to Clarks to try on endless pairs of black shoes for the new school year, struggling with the gurdle on our tights as we walked to the bus stop and trying to get away with a smidgen (*cough* whole tube's worth) of mascara and bronzer, you'd regularly catch us rolling up our boring school skirts way above the knee in a bid to ooze 'Noughties chic'.

As someone who went to a Catholic girls school and was once – with my form group – asked to kneel on the desk before our teacher came along with a ruler to measure the gap between skirt hem and table, believe me, I know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting away with a skirt roll.

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A tight scrunch of fabric on the hip secured with a kirby grip, a hair bobble to tie the knot at the back, the old 'switcheroo' of your Year 9 skirt with current Year 11 one – the techniques are endless.

Of course, looking back know, these memories of 'Skirt Gate' make me cringe. While I walked around school thinking I looked like Clueless' Cher Horowitz, I no doubt looked like a grown-up Matilda tugging down at an embarrassingly short skirt that looked more like a belt.

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However, when reading news that a number of students at Ebbsfleet Academy in Kent, England were refused entry to their first day of the new term this week because their skirts were deemed too short, I was slightly perturbed.

Let me say, I completely understand the need for school uniform regulations and rules.

While I might joke about shortening my skirt in school, I ensured its length wavered on the threshold of acceptability. Like teasing out the knot of your tie or buying a Jane Morgan bag to carry your books, skirt rolling was a right of passage as a teen and done merely as a mild two-fingers up to authority – it was in no way done with the thinking it seemed provocative (for me anyway).

After all, school is a place of learning and growth, not a stopover before a night out in the local Vodka Rev.

But, kicking girls out in the cold, denying them a day's worth of education, due to a breaking of school dress policy isn't exactly isn't the right way to enforce school rules. It's rather cruel.

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It has been reported that a number if the Ebbsfleet girls were left dismayed and upset, when male teachers attempted to measure their skirts and their 'inappropriate skirt lengths' meant that they were left out in the cold on their first day of term.

As a result, several parents were said to have been surprised by the school's reaction to the length of their daughters' skirts, with one parent claiming to be unaware of attire policy altogether.

Meanwhile, another parent said she had sent her child to school in the same skirt as last term and was confused as to why it was now deemed 'too short'. Other parents expressed anger at the thought of their daughters being left alone outside of the school and revealed they wouldn't be able to buy another skirt until the end of the week, meaning their children would have to miss the first full week of school.

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However, Alison Colwell, head teacher of Ebbsfleet Academy, insists that the school's dress code isn't out of the ordinary.

She said: 'We have a clear uniform policy that we enforce. Our rules are no stricter than most schools, it's just that we are consistent in enforcing them.

'Parents were warned about this last term and students who chose to break the rule yesterday were given the choice to borrow a school second-hand skirt.

'The tiny minority of parents who choose to defy us, and our rules, are a minority – it's a curious parent who thinks it is acceptable for teenage girls to flash large amounts of thigh, or worse,' she added.

Seriously though, you've got to doubt that a parent would prioritise a kid's desire for shorter skirts over their valued education, right?

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Of course, students should adhere to the regulations and policies relating to appropriate school dress, you don't have to persuade us of that.

But unlike bad behaviour, an inch less skirt shouldn't merit exclusion. It's irresponsible, unnecessary and plain harsh.

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