Letter writing template - Challenge a School UniforM Policy
The DfE is really big on the issue of cost, and in their guidance to schools states: "it is not expected that the cost of girls’ uniform is significantly more expensive than boys or vice-versa as this may constitute unlawful sex discrimination"
Add evidence on why a unisex policy would be in the schools best interest as well (i.e, this reflects poorly on the school)
Schools are legally obliged to provide an answer within a set period of time (check the schools complaints procedure for details)
1. Initial conversation:
I am a parent/guardian of a pupil at your school, and I represent a group of parents who would like to see changes to the uniform policy. <open the conversation, maybe this is an issue that the school are already looking at? Test the water)
Would you consider revising the schools uniform policy to allow girls to wear trousers/to reflect a more unisex approach, allowing more choice for pupils and parents?
<Your examples of why this is important to you>
As a parent of children of both sexes, I find your uniform policy is discriminating against my family as I am prevented from handing down from boy to girl, incurring higher uniform costs than other families. <try and offer some examples of how you feel your family is being impacted by the current policy>
My daughter does not like wearing skirts as she finds them uncomfortable and feels much more herself wearing trousers. <for mixed schools> I am concerned that my daughter is being discriminated against, because she isn't permitted the same relaxed freedom of movement boys are afforded in trousers.
I would be happy to meet (online or in person) to discuss this issue further.
2. Formal letter of complaint
<All schools will have a complaints procedure and you can request a copy from reception.>
I am a parent/guardian to a pupil at your school and I would like to make a formal complaint with regards to your uniform policy.
I represent a group of parents who have come together to challenge the schools uniform policy, and wish to make a formal complaint.
I believe that it is unacceptable for a school to place restrictions on the type of uniform pupils can wear based on sex, and that separate boy and girl dress codes promote harmful gender stereotypes.
In December 2020, a report by the Fawcett Society, led by Professor Becky Franis and Rt Hon David Lammy MP, recommended that challenging gender stereotypes form an active part of the Ofsted inspection framework.
After all, when we tell a girl to dress one way, and a boy to dress another, what message are we giving to children? Girls should enjoy the same freedom of movement as boys, and the same comforts of covered legs and knees in British weather.
I request that you take my/our concerns to the next board of governors meeting and discuss changing the schools uniform policy to something more equal, and less divisive.
I have attached a statement written by our action group/I attach a copy of the petition. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
<your name, appropriate contact details>