A head teacher from an Isle of Wight secondary school took 250 girls out of lessons because of their inappropriate clothing. He tells Radhika Sanghani why it’s so important for girls to wear knee-length skirts and not show their bra straps
Dr Rory Fox is on a crusade. The head teacher of the Ryde Academy on the Isle of Wight is so fed up with seeing his female students in short skirts and tight trousers that when 250 girls were found wearing them, he removed them from their lessons.
The ‘short skirts ban’ began last month, where Dr Fox told parents that the school dress code was changing. Five weeks before the end of the school year, he explained that skirts could only be worn to the knee, and trousers could not be too close fitting (you have to be able to pinch an inch of material from the knee when sitting down).
When students then came into school with uniform that did not comply with the new rules set out in his letter, he took action. Year 7 (aged 11-12) and Year 8 students were removed from lessons, while Year 9 and Year 10 pupils were sent home to change.
Naturally, it resulted in lots of humiliated teens and angry parents. So why did Dr Fox finally crack down on school skirts? What made him go to such extreme lengths to rid his school of female thighs – and why now?
“We [had] a number of girls who have skirts that are so short that they come lower than the blazer,” he tells me, which meant that from the back, you couldn’t tell they were wearing skirts. “That’s unacceptably too short.”