Your views on Hartlepool headteacher lycra tube skirt row

Anne Malcolm pictured after her appointment as head in 2011.
Anne Malcolm pictured after her appointment as head in 2011.

Readers are split over a headteacher's controversial comments about females over size 8 wearing lycra tube skirts.

Anne Malcolm's remarks during an assembly at Manor Community Academy, in Hartlepool, attracted criticism and were branded "inappropriate" and "disgusting".

But Mrs Malcolm quickly apologised for what the school has labelled a misunderstanding amid claims she was merely referring to herself rather than her pupils.

The assembly addressed uniform issues with Mrs Malcolm supposedly telling pupils she did not want girls wearing fashionable tube skirts.

She is then said to have implied that females over size 8 do not look good in them.

Our story yesterday sparked dozens of comments on our website and social media pages although any criticism was soon balanced by remarks backing Mrs Malcolm both as a teacher and for her stance.

Martin Bainbridge said: "Is she a size 8 or a 10 like? Stupid remark from someone in such position of responsibility."

Laura Corkin added: "It's not healthy for girls over a size 8 to wear tube skirts?

"Girls' weight and shape isn't the issue here, the issue is the way she has made impressionable teenage girls feel.

"No one has the right to tell anyone that they shouldn't wear something. Yes, I agree that wearing tube skirts to school isn't appropriate, so that is what should have been said. To

comment on weight is totally wrong."

Samantha Lawton agreed, saying: "Disgusting as if there isn't enough pressure on girls as it is."

Jess Campion continued: "Couldn't be saying this if it was aimed at your kids and in bigger sizes. Parents have the right to be complaining she needs to take a look in the mirror before slating kids about skirts and sizes."

Emma Haran said: "I think it's more the wording she used. Young girls are so busy trying to conform to how society thinks they should look.

"How she has said it is disgusting. She is body shaming these girls and it's unacceptable.

"Why is it such a big thing about wearing a tube/pencil skirt to school? I don't see the issue with it. If the girl is comfortable and feels confident wearing one why should she be denied?"

In Mrs Malcolm's defence, Debbie Monsen, who remembers being taught by her earlier in her career when she used a different surname, said: "If anyone had Miss Woolley back in

the day, you'd get her personality and the likelihood of this being taken out of context.

"She is an amazing teacher who talks on a level with her students. She's very popular for that reason."

Victoria White added: "Mrs Malcolm was a fab teacher to us. Maybe enforce the school rules rather than complaining about when your children are spoken to about breaking them."

Amanda Duran said: "Some people shouldn't wear them. They leave themselves to be ridiculed by other people.

"I have seen some larger girls in tears because they have been on the receiving end of teasing and jokes. It's horrible. Bring back the loose fitting knee length skirt because it's school

not a fashion show."

Paddy Horsley continued: "Should ban them altogether and stick to the official school uniform."