Outraged students organise protest at Banbury school over new uniform policy

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Outraged students have organised protests today (February 24) at The Warriner School in Banbury over new uniform policy.

Parents of students at the school received a letter yesterday (February 23) informing them of updates to their uniform policy, which include an outright ban on girls wearing skirts and a gender-neutral physical education kit.

Student upset over the decision, which is reportedly most of the student body, have arranged peaceful protests within the school grounds and are refusing to attend classes.

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Police have been called to the school and many parents have called the Banbury Guardian to say that they are backing their children.

Students organise protest at The Warriner School over changes to the schools uniform policy.Students organise protest at The Warriner School over changes to the schools uniform policy.
Students organise protest at The Warriner School over changes to the schools uniform policy.

One pupil said: “If teachers can strike over their principles, so can we.”

In the letter to parents, the school informed them that all students to are wear black tailored trousers from September and during the summer months all students will be able to wear knee length black shorts.

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The Warriner School has stated the reason behind the decision was to promote inclusivity and "further support and empower our students with our values of equality and respect."

In the letter, the assistant head teacher said: "This was a decision made because, unfortunately, there is still a challenge by a lot of our female students wearing their skirts to our desired appropriate length. Students who roll skirts to an inappropriate length are sending out the wrong social message in their choice of style – they seem to feel they need to conform to a certain image, in order to fit in with friendship groups.

"We feel this has no place in an educational setting and for this reason we are introducing trousers for all students."

Upset parents have claimed the change in uniform will punish the body of girls at the school for the actions of a minority. The parents have also argued that the changes are an expense that parents do not need ‘forcing’ upon them during a cost of living crisis.

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Mother of a student at the school, Jenny, said: "The children have arranged this themselves without parent influence, the teachers are supervising them, and the police are on site now as well. As a parent, I’m extremely proud of the way the students are conducting themselves today, they are being peaceful, respectful, and keeping high spirits.

"The change of uniform was put across as saving money for the parents and as being gender neutral and inclusive for all the students, but there was no consultation, and that is what smarted the parents.

"My view is, where is the money coming from for us to be able to buy these new trousers, and will we have to buy them from a certain place?

"It feels like they are punishing girls for wanting to be girls, and that doesn't feel inclusive. There are a handful of girls that roll their skirts up, but that has been the way since I was at school in the eighties, but why punish the entire female student body for the sake of a handful of girls?"

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Another parent stated that he "will not be acknowledging your school uniform update and my daughter will continue to wear skirts and other female clothing to school". The upset parent called the letter "nonsense" and "anti-female" and demanded that the teachers at the school organise a meeting with parents and reverse the decision "along with an apology for the incredibly hurtful letter."

We have approached The Warriner School for comment but are waiting for a response.