Boys wear skirts to school in uniform protest

Students at Isca Academy, Exeter UK staging a school uniform protest
Students at Isca Academy, Exeter UK staging a school uniform protest Photo: Twitter/Scott Collins

It might only be just over 30 degrees, but this qualifies as a heatwave in the UK, and for the boys from Isca academy they're fed up with their school's "no shorts" policy.

They were so upset that the school insisted they wear long pants, that they arranged a protest. The school had told them that if they didn't wear pants, they could wear skirts like the girls, so they did.

Borrowing skirts from sisters and friends, about 30 boys arrived at their school at Exeter, dressed in tartan skirts. They were all bare legged, some had even shaved.

The boys described wearing skirts as "quite refreshing" and providing a "nice breeze".

One of the protest organisers' mums Claire Lambeth, said her son Ryan had come home earlier that week complaining of being too hot in long pants.

"He said it was unbearable," Claire told The Guardian.

"I spoke to a teacher to ask about shorts and she said it was school policy (that they could not be worn).

"I did say this was exceptional weather, but they were having none of it. If girls can wear skirts, why can't boys wear shorts?"

She said her son came up with the idea of staging a protest against the uniform guidelines.

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"Ryan came up with the idea of wearing a skirt, so that evening we borrowed one. He wore it the next day – as did five other boys," she said.

"Then this morning… I didn't expect it to take off like that. The school is being silly really – this is exceptional weather.

"I was very proud of Ryan. I think it was a great idea."

Another mother said: "The boys see the female teachers in sandals and nice cool skirts and tops while they are wearing long trousers and shoes and the older boys have to wear blazers. They just think it's unfair that they can't wear shorts in this heat."

Head teacher Aimee Mitchell said the school was willing to think about its uniform code.

"We recognise that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible," she said.

"Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys, and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and families.

"However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future."

None of the children were punished for wearing skirts to school, but they might have started a wider movement with reports students at other schools, with similar uniform restrictions, are planning on taking similar action.

Luckily, the weather has tipped below the scorching 30 degrees.