Katia Chornik, whose daughter attends Kingston Grammar School in southwest London, believes it’s unfair that girls at the school must wear skirts, and has been campaigning for the past year for a change.
She told the Local Guardian earlier this month: “I wrote an email to the person in charge of uniform simply asking about it, I thought it was a mistake that the uniform list did not say anything about trousers for girls.
“The reason 50% of the school cannot wear trousers is because of gender.
She was very clear about the reasons she believes the rules should be changed: “Trousers are obviously warmer, particularly more comfortable. They [the girls] are more protected against harassment, sexual assault and they [trousers] are a lot cheaper than skirts.”
The school has said it is adhering to the law that allows differences in uniform for boys and girls, but Katie considers it gender discrimination.
Headteacher Stephen Lehec told the same newspaper that the school had been in discussions with Katie since October last year, and has offered to conduct a consultation to determine if more parents and students feel the same way.
He said: “We are going to be fair and do it properly and it’s in our school letter that we want to go out to parents. We are actually getting that together now.
“We cannot change it without a consultation, which is what we are doing.”
He added: “This is not an issue that greatly exercises Kingston Grammar School’s parents, and we had a full uniform review only three years ago.
“That review included questions on uniform for both boys and girls, and the issue of trousers for girls was mentioned by only a small handful of people, none of whom expressed a strong view on the subject.”
The on-going battle follows a change in rules at a Stoke-on-Trent school this summer, where a head teacher banned skirts, saying male teachers who were becoming "distracted" by the girl's raising hemlines. The school intends to introduce a “trousers only” rule next year, demonstrating the difference between UK schools’ policies.
Government guidance updated in July 2015, states that schools are able to decide if girls can wear trousers, or if religious dress is allowed. If parents think your child is being discriminated against, they must talk to the head teacher.