Private girls’ school relax their dress codes to allow ‘pink hair, shaved heads, piercings and nail polish’ to stop ‘negative impact on mental health’
- The Girls’ Day School Trust has conducted the change to relax school uniforms
- They have adopted The Halo Code to promote children to wear hair as they wish
- Move is to accommodate to the mental health and wellbeing of school girls
Uniform rules have been relaxed at private girls’ schools after years of banning hair and nail colours after students’ mental health was called into question.
Strict uniform policies have been part of British schools for hundreds of years, but now in an attempt to modernise and accommodate to the wellbeing of pupils, the attitudes towards nail polish, colourful socks and unnatural hair colour is being changing.
The Girls’ Day School Trust, which represents 23 private schools and two academies across the UK, has conducted the start of a more relaxed viewpoint on school uniforms.
They have adopted The Halo Code which is an initiative promoting children wearing their hair as they wish within school.
One of their promises is to let black pupils wear Afro hairstyles without any judgement or restriction on how it is worn.
Bethany Dawson, Headteacher of Sutton High School, in Sutton, greater London, told the Telegraph of how before she arrived at the school three years ago, there was a strict uniform policy in place for girls which stopped them from coming into class with hair colours that were ‘unnatural’.
Uniform rules have been relaxed at private girls’ schools after years of banning hair and nail colours after students’ mental health was called into question (file photo)
She said: ‘I think there’s so many studies about teenage girls and how self identity and a really robust sense of self and I guess authenticity to oneself, is beneficial to mental health.
‘Why would we not allow them to have pink hair? Why would we not allow them to paint their nails green? Unless there’s health and safety reasons, there’s not really a reason.
‘It was driven by mental health and really by a focus on individuality, that’s what we’re all about here and we want them to be able to express that.’
Now, she says that girls have their hair coloured pink, green, worn long, shaved, and other girls with piercings too.
The The Girls’ Day School Trust’s chief executive Cheryl Giovannoni said that this change was to let young people ‘express their own identity’ in a ‘safe environment’, and added it was ‘part of our mission to place mental health and well-being at the centre of everything’ that they do.
‘By allowing girls to do this they feel more relaxed and confident at school, which in turn gives them greater agency and the ability to use their personal judgement more broadly in their lives,’ she told the Telegraph.
Another school as part of the Trust, Sheffield Girls’ School, used to have uniform and appearance rules which stopped pupils even eating outside in their school wear.
Headteacher Nina Gunson said that the new relaxed rules were to allow students to be themselves and let the school be as ‘inclusive as possible’.
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