Is school uniform policy too strict?
THERE was general amusement in The Oban Times office last week over the story about the boys who wore skirts to their school in Exeter.
They were, of course, protesting at a rule that forbade them from wearing shorts, even as the mercury rocketed up into the 90s (or 30s for those of you of a more modern bent).
The story had me thinking about schools’ uniform policies and how strict - or otherwise - they should be. This is all by way of an introduction to the Oban High policy, which smacks loudly of sexism. A colleague forwarded on to me an email she had been sent from the school on precisely this subject. It reads: ‘Boys and girls ‘Standard plain white shirt and school tie, black trousers and plain black footwear (Black trainers are fine – no white logo or trim allowed)
‘A plain black v-neck jumper or v-neck cardigan is optional. The v-neck allows the school tie to be visible. ‘Girls ‘Skirts can be worn but must be no shorter than ‘mid thigh.’ A reasonable guideline would be that the skirt should be no shorter than the fingertips when your arm is fully extended down by your side. Plain black tights must be worn with skirts. ‘Not permitted ‘Coloured footwear (black trainers must not have white trim or logos.) ‘Leggings and “jeggings”. ‘Plunging neckline shirts (the tie should sit in the colour at the top button next to the neck.) ‘Sleeveless tops. ‘Coloured jumpers or hoodies are not permitted as an alternative to a coat. Please just wear a black jumper. ‘Short skirts / shorts ‘Football strips / offensive casualwear in PE.’
Now, I’m all for school uniforms and would praise the appearance of the young people I see in Oban on a daily basis.
But I have to ask why girls are singled out for stringent guidelines.
Breakfast event is just the business
WHILE I’m on the subject of Oban High, the school earlier this month a ‘business breakfast’ event that was a huge success.
Dozens of professionals from a variety of different sectors accepted Oban High’s invitation to attend the inaugural event, which saw former pupils discussing their chosen careers with current pupils.
What an excellent idea. With a bit of luck, this will become an annual event to illuminate young minds as to the realities of the world of work.
Sporting stars are great ambassadors
IT HAS been fantastic to see three Oban rugby players involved in three different Scotland team this month.
Magnus Bradbury played for the Scottish test team, his brother Fergus represented his country at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia, and Abi Evans has been in the Scotland women’s sevens squad in the Czech Republic and Hungary.
They are all splendid ambassadors for their home town and evidence of the vibrant rugby scene in the area.
Rugby development officer Allan Wright does a great job encouraging young people into the sport, but there are many others - too numerous to name, unfortunately - who are crucial to keeping interest levels high.
Pats on the back all round to everyone who coaches, cajoles or carries out unsung work to facilitate youth sport.
Not letting weather rain on her parade
I WAS busy imbibing in an Oban watering hole the other day when I fell into conversation with an American couple here for the Clan MacLean gathering on the isle of Mull.
Beyond the doors of our hostelry, the rain was whistling horizontally and heavily, a situation which became a topic of conversation during our badinage.
The woman surprised me by saying it wasn’t bothering her in the slightest. ‘I come from California,’ she elucidated, ‘and we get far too much sunshine.’
What was that old quote about the grass always being greener?
What do you think?
Write to me at The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@ obantimes.co.uk.