Can a school enforce this dress code for pe?


Like me my younger cousin has a massive disliking for wearing shorts. He’s a very active boy, but really does not like the way it feels. He’s 14 and recently moved to a new school. He had some friends in this school before moving so he’s settling in well.

He went to his pe class in his usual jogging bottoms and school uniform pe shirt (the school issued shorts with the uniform but they are just generic black with no school branding) and was given a warning note for this and told he had to go to isolation for the lesson for not wearing the right uniform.

He does jujitsu and has since he was little and has many many sets of rashguard tights he trains in as again hates shorts. So I suggested he wear them under the shorts as he would when he goes to jujitsu. He had a old black pair and took them to school.

He left the changing room and his teacher told him he needed to take them off. So he hasn’t participated in pe since he started the school.

Options are coming up and he does really want to take pe. He’s a very active young man who does well in school and he wants to go onto study sport science when he’s old enough. He’s already decided his a levels and pe would be one of them.

Does anyone have any advice on how the school can be challenged? He wore completely appropriate clothing for participating in the pe class and his teachers are being awkward.

6 thoughts on “Can a school enforce this dress code for pe?

  1. I’m confused s I am a shop/PE and while we don’t have uniforms we do have requirements. Athletic jogging pants are 100 acceptable in regards to safety and ability to partipate. I almost never wear shorts myself for comfort and the very little protecttion I get as I will participate a few block each day. I also think that for non athletic students PE is hard enough and if they are conformable and safe who cares. This seems like a old rule that never got updated I wonder what they do for religious modesty. I personally think there should be no problem but as long as there is resonable exceptions they can enforce this. I would sit down with the gym teacher and have a calm conversation and hope it can be solved there

    FYI I also used to train in a hoddie and sweet pants as my leg or body might be cut or stitched up and to be sanitary it was the easiest way to keep bandaids on. I was a higher level athleat and as long as the clothing was flexible and safe no certfied coach cared.

    1. In England we have pe uniforms but the uniform for most schools is a tshirt with the school logo and then they issue a pair of shorts the same colour but when I was in school I could wear any appropriate trousers combination for the gym. I personally would wear tracksuit bottoms unless doing something the tights would be more suited for.

      This school is certainly more old fashioned but not a religious school or anything and not a single sex school so I’m quite confused as to what the issue is and why the boys must all have bare legs. Seems bizarre to me

  2. If shorts are a part of the uniform, then he’d need a valid reason not to wear them. Without a reason, it will appear as petty rebelliousness and open the door for other kids to break the uniform code.

    1. Teaching kids rigidity and uniformity aren’t necessarily the job of a school. I never understood why PE Uniforms were a thing. What is this the fuckin military?

  3. Don’t listen to people saying there is something wrong with your cousin. The insistence by the coach that running tights under shorts isn’t acceptable it ridiculous. He’s wearing the uniform. The coach can get stuffed. Have his parents write a note and or talk to the headmaster about why they are so insistent in making this an issue. This boy does not need to conform to the degree the PE teacher is asking. He’s accommodated the PE teacher and now he can be seen as complying. The PE teacher is abusing his/her authority and making an issue where there doesn’t need to be one. There is no health and safety issue here.

  4. Sounds pretty normal to me.

    I wouldn’t have an issue with it as a teacher but schools and teachers are all different in what they’ll accommodate.

    My only advice for your cousin would be to remember that P.E. lessons aren’t the only way to have an active life and enjoy sport.

    If sport science is something he has his heart set on, he and his parents could look to do the gcse as an external candidate somewhere else and take the school’s dresscode out of the equation.

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