Schoolgirls told to wear shorts 'to prevent boys upskirting' - Ipswich MP

Mother walking daughter to school. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Primary school girls are being told to wear shorts to prevent upskirting, according to Ipswich MP Tom Hunt - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Primary school girls are being told by their teachers to wear shorts "to prevent boys upskirting", Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has told a parliamentary committee.

The chief inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, appeared before MPs on the Education Select Committee on Tuesday following the publication of watchdog's report on sexual harassment in schools.

The report found that around nine in 10 girls reported incidents of sexist name calling and being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos.

Ofsted inspectors were also told that boys are sharing “nudes” among themselves like a “collection game” on WhatsApp and Snapchat, while some girls have experienced “unwanted touching in school corridors”.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector, appeared before the Education Select Committee

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector, appeared before the Education Select Committee - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ms Spielman said she spoke to a sample of girls who had left schools within the past two years - with only one of them able to say that they had never been sent a photograph by a boy of their naked body.


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She also said schools should find solutions in addressing any problems that could be making girls feel “uncomfortable” when doing activities such as somersaults or cartwheels in the playground.

The comments come following reports that some schools have asked girls to wear shorts under dresses so their underwear would not be on show.

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Mr Hunt, a member of the committee, questioned Ms Spielman about the reports and asked whether she believed Ofsted’s inspection framework can detect this “misogyny” in schools.

Ms Spielman said: "I think it’s really important that we don’t slide into a sort of national culture that is essentially victim blaming.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has secured an adjournment debate on the Orwell Bridge in Parliament. Picture: P

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said girls were being told to wear shorts under dresses - Credit: House of Commons

"In a primary school I would very much hope that we can find solutions in addressing any cultural problems that could be making girls feel uncomfortable doing normal things that every child should be doing in the playground. Doing somersaults or cartwheels or what have you."

Mr Hunt said teachers had told girls to wear shorts under their skirts “to prevent boys upskirting” - which has been a criminal offence since 2019.

He added: "I think it’s very concerning that that sort of question would be asked and that kind of does verge on victim blaming from what I can see."

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