Connah’s Quay High School skirts row – consultation period extended following AM’s intervention
Deeside’s Assembly Member has backed parents upset at proposals to enforce a skirt-only policy for female students at a Deeside high school.
Carl Sargeant AM has been contacted by parents reacting to a consultation being carried out by Connah’s Quay High School.
The consultation letter written by headteacher Ann Peers says that because there is an ongoing issue with girls wearing “denims, leggings and skin tight trousers” she would like to make the change to skirts.
The letter was sent out before half term and gives until February 27 to submit responses.
“Parents who have contacted me are concerned that introducing a skirt-only uniform policy for female pupils is against equality and is sexist,” said Carl Sargeant.
I must say I agree with them on this and believe that female students should have the right to choose whether to wear a skirt or trousers.
I understand that uniform is a very important factor in terms of creating a sense of inclusion and equality among pupils and in representing the school locally and at events and occasions.
If uniform is an issue then of course that should be dealt with and the headteacher would have my full support in that. Perhaps enforcing a policy of wearing tailored trousers or skirts might provide a positive way forward.
However, a skirt-only policy for girls is antiquated and sexist and should be dropped straight away.
Mr Sargeant has written to Ms Peers to this effect urging her to take parents’ and pupils’ views into consideration when making her final decision.
The AM has also written to Director of Lifelong Learning Ian Budd at Flintshire Local Education Authority and received a positive response. He said:
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In line with both [Welsh Government] guidance and letter parents and carers should respond to the school’s consultation.
Although Welsh Government is not explicit about the length of consultation that should be undertaken it must (in my view) be adequate.
I have asked that the school extend the consultation period as much of their original consultation period was during the half term holiday.
Adequate time in term time for consultation helps in answering any enquiries or concerns. The response to this extension request is positive from the school.
The Governing Body in reaching a decision on school uniform policy must clearly consider issues both of equality and affordability.
Flintshire LEA have confirmed that the school has now extended the consultation to March 10.