It’s nice to see people fight back against the idiocy of small-mindedness.

The US constitution has long guaranteed the right to bear arms – but now the schoolboys of Exeter have gone one better and won the right to bare legs.

Britain’s heatwave this week sparked open rebellion at Isca academy in Devon, with boys wearing skirts in protest at rules that insisted male pupils wear long trousers even as temperatures soared into the mid-30s.

By the end of the week the school’s icy resolve finally melted in the glare of international exposure.

This was an inventive and neat protest against a head teacher who was unable and unwilling to use a little common sense when faced with a perfectly reasonable request to wear lighter clothing in the heatwave. Her sarcastic response that the boys could wear skirts backfired beautifully and brought her idiocy to national attention. Had she simply used her head, she would have agreed to the wearing of shorts. It’s what any sensible person would have done. These boys took her at her word and made a fool of her.

All too often organisations impose unsuitable and dogmatic dress codes. It’s nice to see a fight-back that highlights the idiocy of those making such codes and using humour and imagination to do so.


  1. In about 1970 a young man in a neighbouring office to mine removed his tie on a very hot day. His manager bawled him out saying ties must be worn at all times. After lunch the manager came back to find the boy sitting at his desk stripped to the waist but with his tie neatly knotted round his neck.

    The manager saw the funny side of it and relented.

  2. The irony being that many private schools used to have dress codes that specified shorts all year round for boys, it was considered ‘character building’ to be exposed to all winds and weathers. I was very pleased when I went to my prep school in 1982 aged 11 that the requirement to wear shorts all year round had just been dropped.

    • Indeed, I remember as a young lad of about 10 (1959 – 60) freezing my arse off in the bitter winter weather because we weren’t allowed to wear long trousers. I hated it. When I first went to grammar at 11, I lobbied my parents furiously to allow me to wear long trousers (which were permitted there). It was a fierce battle, but under my relentless petitioning they finally relented. On principle, I never wore shorts again during my school life.

      • Same at prep school I attended 1968-1975. Walking to school in shorts in a snow storm was not pleasant.

        Grammar school with long trousers & no cap was an improvement. I too still have an aversion to wearing shorts.

        I often wonder if the very dense and long hair on legs & bum are a result of that – upper body is normal.

  3. I am deeply suspicious of anyone who likes to force other people to endure discomfort for no good reason. There is just something very nasty about it.

  4. I agree. I thought the head was being bone headed and stupidly inflexible and posted up so.

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