Alisha’s story

My name is Alisha and I am the mother of two boys, aged nine and six. This is why I care about girls’ school uniforms.

During my primary school days I was made to wear a tunic/dress or skirt to school. Our winter uniform was also a tunic and we were allowed to wear stockings underneath. During high school it was common for the girls to take up the hem of our school skirts to make them more revealing, it was seen as something the ‘cool or popular’ girls did.

My sons attend our local primary school which is a very small school consisting of 67 children. There are currently no regulations on wearing a skirt and a lot of the girls wear shorts or skorts in the same colour as the boys shorts. There is a lot more of emphasis on physical activity at school now and I strongly believe that girls should be given the option of wearing shorts or pants to enable them to move freely without any issues.

Children should be allowed to wear any comfortable, practical clothing to school and not be forced to conform to outdated traditions such as girls wearing dresses, skirts or tunics.

Gender stereotyping has no place in our society, particularly in our schools. Children should be free to be who they are, not who we think they should be based on what sex they are. It is harmful to children to limit their freedom of expression because they are a “boy” or “girl” and therefore must act or dress a certain way.

These outdated ideas must be changed; female nurses, teachers and police officers all have choices in their uniform options today and dresses are seen as largely impractical. The wearing of dresses and skirts is no longer an expectation of women in society, so why do we continue to force this archaic stereotype on school girls?

I am currently acting as our schools uniform co-ordinator and although we do not have any regulations regarding this at the moment, I will endeavour to strongly support the issue of gender equality should the issue arise in future.

Overall I believe that children should have the freedom to wear whatever they are comfortable wearing.