Headteacher apologises after telling pupils no one over size 8 should wear tube skirts

Anne Malcolm headteacher Manor Community Academy.
Anne Malcolm headteacher Manor Community Academy.

A headteacher has apologised after telling pupils they shouldn’t wear lycra tube skirts to school if they were over a size 8.

Anne Malcolm landed herself in hot water after ticking off pupils in a crackdown on uniform during an assembly at Hartlepool’s Manor Community Academy.

She was focusing on girls wearing make-up, short skirts and jewellery.

It is believed comments were then made about tube skirts – an item of clothing popular and fashionable among teen girls.

It is understood the head told pupils she did not want to see girls in the stretchy lycra skirts as they did not look good on anyone above a size 8.

Parents complained about the comment after pupils were left upset.

Miss Malcolm apologised to parents and pupils – even though it is thought the jokey remarks were referring to 
herself and were misunderstood.

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said; “You just can’t make comments like that, in whatever context.

“Girls can be really sensitive around these issues, it’s just inappropriate.”

But another added: “It was clearly a joke, I don’t know what all the fuss is about.”

The school, in Owton Manor Lane, has its own website, which has a rule that says: “Every student and adult is expected to behave in a responsible manner, both to themselves and others, showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other people at all 

On the parents’ section, Miss Malcom says: “Our motto is ‘Care, Courtesy and Consideration in all that we do.’ and, as you will see for yourself, these are not just words – it is our mantra.”

A spokesman for the school said the comments had been misinterpreted.

They added: “The principal’s comment was made during an assembly aimed at reminding students about uniform guidelines, where the wearing of make-up, jewellery and short skirts is not permitted.

“Lycra tube skirts are not part of the uniform and a small number of students have been wearing these skirts and at an inappropriately short length during the school day.

“The academy has a robust policy of care and welfare for its students, promoting healthy lifestyles and positive body image for all students.”