THE mum of a young Bathurst Public School student has expressed concern that girls at the school have been told they can no longer wear shorts as part of the summer school uniform.
While the girls can wear blue tailored shorts and a white polo shirt on sports day, they have been told they must wear the school tunic the rest of the time.
Zoe Rodwell said her six-year-old daughter has been wearing shorts or pants all year.
However, in late October the parent information handbook on the school website was changed to no longer include shorts as a recognised everyday uniform option for their female students.
“Along with this changed publication, female students were held back after assembly to be told to only wear their summer tunics to school,” Ms Rodwell said.
“In the current climate of pursuing gender equality this change in uniform has surprised and upset both parents and students alike.”
However, school principal Kate White said some girls had become very competitive over brand name shorts and others were wearing shorts that were inappropriate.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with wanting girls to wear dresses,” she said.
She added that if parents don’t want to send their daughters to school in the summer tunic all they have to do is let the school know.
Ms Rodwell said her little girl likes to play on the monkey bars and says the girls get teased when they do this in a dress.
“Girls who do not feel comfortable running through the playground, sitting cross legged on the classroom floor or swinging on the monkey bars in a dress are now being compromised by the school’s newly defined uniform,” Ms Rodwell said.
She said she is concerned there was insufficient communication and consultation about the changes.
Ms White agreed Ms Rodwell has legitimate concerns and raising them has brought to a head the fact that the school’s uniform policy needs to be reviewed. She is in the process of putting together a uniform committee made up of representatives of staff, the P & C, community representatives and parents.