A headteacher slammed for banning girls from wearing short skirts in case boys “peered up them” has caused further anger by saying tight clothing emphasises the “heftiness” of some of her larger pupils.
Dozens of parents complained when Dr Tracey Jones turned students away at the school gates for ‘inappropriate uniform’ because their trousers were too tight or their skirts too short.
But she vowed to continue sending students home from the Lord Grey school in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bucks., if they did not meet the strict criteria.
Yesterday (Mon), the head sent a lengthy email explaining her policy to parents, explaining she wanted her female students to look “modest and demure”.
One paragraph stated: “Ironically, for those girls who are not very slim, the tight clothing emphasises their heftiness and is unflattering.
“Thus this makes them prone to bullying.”
Dr Jones added: “If everyone is covered up in slightly loose clothing, there is less bullying over body shape and size.
“Skinny fit trousers and very short skirts are not flattering to the larger girl and make her prone to mean comments from peers.”
But the email has caused been blasted by parents, one of whom said: “This is a breeding ground for anorexia. Nor headteacher should comment on size and shape where teenage girls are concerned.”
Another said: “So larger girls at Lord Grey who experience bullying about their size should not expect the school to tackle the bullying, but should instead purchase looser clothes and hope the bullies are fooled into thinking that they’ve lost weight?
“It’s a slippery slope. What next? Will we have a letter saying: ‘please can you tell your child to be slightly less gay at school because it makes them prone to homophobic attacks?’ It’s just crazy.”
Last week, Dr Jones caused a backlash when she said: “They should look demure and modest and not appear over-sexualised in figure hugging trousers or very short skirts.
“We have a tower block with six flights of stairs.
“The last thing we want is boys peering up girls’ skirts while they are climbing the stairs.”
But, Year 11 pupil Chloe Hirst claimed the uniform policy was “sexist” after she was turned away from the gates last week.
Chloe, 16, from Milton Keynes, Bucks., said: “The boys never get any hassle, they are so sexist about it.
“I feel like it is disgusting how they ask women to dress modestly.
“They never used to be strict on skirts but now it is ridiculous.
“It’s my GCSE year and they are always moaning that we are not doing enough work, yet they send us home for our uniform.
“I think it is ridiculous as I’ve been wearing the same thing for two years but I’ve never been sent home.”
Defending the policy, Dr Jones claimed the matter had been “over-sensationalised”, and said students and parents were given ample warning that uniform checks would be in place at the school, which has a ‘good’ Ofsted rating after the Easter holidays.
She said: “They are under 18 and thus still children. We don’t think that very tight or revealing clothing is right in a mixed gender school situation.
“It might seem like a very old fashioned concept but we want children to be children and we want the girls to be modest, to protect their self respect.
” We may disagree with methods or approach on this issue, but I hope we all agree that we want to make Lord Grey School a fabulous school to be proud of.”
Dr Jones also revealed that she bought trousers for her own school-aged daughter for £12 at Bon Marche, which a shop famous for fashion for the over-50s.
“They are smart, easy to wash and nice fabric,” she added.
The school website states that “the wearing of a distinctive school dress makes an important contribution to the tone and reputation of the school; gives students a sense of belonging, and stops students coming to school in clothes which are unsuitable for school.”
It goes on to dictate that students must wear black tailored skirts or trousers – skirt must be at least knee length and trousers must be slightly loose and loose at the ankle.