All Change: The View from The Top

Making the decision that a new uniform should be introduced, new head-teacher Su Whelan is confident in her belief that, although the top half of her students’ uniforms are impeccable, the bottom half needs to be changed. The problem for the girls is that skirts are getting shorter and shorter, whilst for the boys the standard black trouser has led to many favouring tighter and more tailored styles.

In the firm belief that the pupils of Thornden, their parents and teachers at the school have a right to give their input on the matter, Miss Whelan set up a vote for people to give their views. For girls, they could either select a knee-length black or green/purple checkered skirt and, for the boys, the customary black trousers or grey ones.

At the time of writing, the decision for a longer, more modest skirt has already been made – much to the dismay of some females in the institution.

“The length of our skirt is one of the only things left that us pupils have control over. It allows us to be confident in our outfits and gives us our individuality.” – One girl confided in our reporter.

However, another student agreed with the rationale behind the change; ‘I feel uncomfortable about the length of skirt that is currently considered fashionable within the school. I don’t really want to wear my skirt that short, but feel I have to, to fit in.’

We managed to get a one-on-one interview with the cause of this outcry, Ms. Su Whelan herself: “Over the years, skirts have simply been getting higher and higher but I understand that this is mainly due to the changes in style that are constantly altering – fashion is a strong dictator.

Our guidelines for skirt length are around the knee; this gives students flexibility to have the hem on, or slightly above, the knee. Another advantage to having school approved skirts is that we will be able to monitor the rolling up of skirts much more easily. We don’t want to clamp down on individuality but we all know the real world is far from the perfect place we try to encapsulate our children in. There are people out there who will be drawn to the teenagers under our care and attempt to take advantage of them.”

We noticed that the price for the new skirts were around the £20 mark, so asked Miss Whelan if she had considered the financial implications this may cause for families, especially if the child needs more than one skirt or have multiple children.

“Even with these changes, our whole uniform continues to be cheaper than a majority of other schools’. Of course, we will ensure to get the best out of the current uniforms and the skirts can be passed down from sibling to sibling.” Ms. Whelan was also quick to empathize that the school can give financial aid to large families struggling to afford the uniform bills.

So, what’s your view on this change? Knee-length skirts? Tartan? Grey trousers? Feel free to email thorndenlive@thornden.hants.sch.uk to share your views!

By Lexie Maclennan and Meg Aitken


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