School probe claims girls are made to kneel to measure skirt length

Head of £15,000-a-year King’s School in Worcester launches ‘sexism’ probe after girls claim they are forced to kneel on the ground while teachers measure the length of their skirts

  • Teachers at King’s School in Worcester ‘forced girls to kneel to measure skirts’ 
  • Claims were made over ‘blatantly sexist rules’ and reports of bullying behaviour
  • Allegations about the £15,000-a-year school were shared on Everyone’s Invited 
  • Headmaster Gareth Doodes has launched a safeguarding probe to protect pupils

The headteacher of a top private school has launced an investigation into allegations of ‘sexism’ after claims girls were forced to kneel while teachers measured the length of their skirts.

Female teachers at the £15,000-a-year King’s School in Worcester are accused of enforcing ‘blatantly sexist rules’ and failing to punish bullies. 

Headmaster Gareth Doodes has confirmed he has now launched a safeguarding probe after being told of the claims. 

Allegations of female pupils having the length of their skirts measured were revealed on whistle-blowing website Everyone’s Invited.

Allegations of ‘sexist rules’ and female pupils being forced to kneel so the length of their skirts could be measured were revealed on whistle-blowing website Everyone’s Invited

Headmaster Gareth Doodes has confirmed he has now launched a safeguarding probe after being told of the claims posted on the whistleblowing site

Created last year, the Everyone’s Invited website has seen contributions surge since the murder of Sarah Everard from South London last month.

Founded by Henry VIII: The school with close links to Worcester cathedral 

The King’s School, Worcester is an English independent school refounded by Henry VIII in 1541. 

It was initially set up as a boy’s school, but girls were welcomed into the sixth form in 1971.

The school became fully coeducational in 1991. 

The mixed school, which is next to Worcester cathedral in the city centre, now caters to 1,465 pupils aged 2 to 18.

They work closely with the cathedral to train choirsters.  

Hundreds of prestigious private schools have been named and shamed in a sex scandal that has engulfed Britain’s entire education sector.

Many other women have also used the platform to reveal their ordeals within the state education system, at university or the family home.

The anonymous post on Everyone’s Invited site, which was launched by campaigner Soma Sara, 22, and Meadow Walker, the daughter of late actor Paul Walker, read: ‘In the uniform rules it said that a girl’s skirt had to be 10cm above the knees when kneeling so several teachers made girls kneel to measure their skirts.

‘I remember walking out of cathedral and seeing teachers taking girls off and making them kneel on the cathedral floor just to check their skirt length.

‘This is the same school that would not let us show our ankles and made us wear full tracksuits (when we) were in our sports kit, even if it was 30 degrees and the middle of summer.

‘The saddest thing was that female teachers even enforced the blatantly sexist rules.

‘They made us think that our bodies should be covered and that it was our responsibility to make sure men wouldn’t look at us.’

The post went on to detail allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour between a number of the male pupils towards girls at the school. 

King’s School caters for 1,467 boys and girls aged 2-18 and received an ‘Excellent’ Ofsted rating. 

King’s School (pictured, stock image) caters for 1,467 boys and girls aged 2-18 and received an ‘Excellent’ Ofsted rating

The whistleblowing site that sparked a sex scandal that has engulfed Britain’s entire education sector

Everyone’s Invited was created last year by former British private school pupil Soma Sara, 22, who launched the project with Meadow Walker, daughter of the late Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker. 

Contributions to the Everyone’s Invited website have surged since the murder of Sarah Everard from South London last month.

Hundreds of prestigious private schools have been named and shamed in a sex scandal that has engulfed Britain’s entire education sector. 

Many other women have also used the platform to reveal their ordeals within the state education system, at university or the family home.

Within a week the whisleblowing site had received and shared more than 300 anonymous responses of people with stories of ‘misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault’, and thousands more have followed, predominantly from girls but also from boys.

These include harrowing tales of children as young as 11 being forced to share explicit images, later being shared to shame them over messaging platforms, and teenagers describing being drugged and raped at parties.

Incidents involving boys from more than 100 schools have been collated, including some attending elite fee-paying ones such as Sherborne, Westminster and Eton – where Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William studied.

British police said they have received ‘more than 7,000’ testimonies from pupils, and growing claims Britain’s top schools have covered up sexual offences to protect their reputations.  

The Everyone’s Invited post added: ‘This is the same school where guys used to go around daring each other to grab girls (bottoms).

‘And the same school that instead of dealing with reported racism, sexism and bullying in the school decided instead to change the uniform so that skirts were below the knee and couldn’t be rolled up, like that was the biggest problem they had.’

The allegations are now being investigated by school chiefs, with the headteacher urging anyone affected by ‘unacceptable treatment’ to report it. 

He also said he was ‘pleased’ that pupils have an ‘opporunity’ to share their experiences on the whistleblowing site.  

Headmaster Mr Doodes said: ‘I am aware that King’s has been mentioned [on Everyone’s Invited].

‘Immediately I informed my designated safeguarding lead.

‘We take all allegations extremely seriously and will be looking into this immediately after the Easter break.

‘I am pleased girls have an opportunity to disclose trauma through Everyone’s Invite but would encourage anyone from any school who feels their treatment by fellow pupils or staff has been unacceptable to also contact the safeguarding lead.

‘Details can be found on every UK educational institution’s website so such sensitive yet damaging issues can be investigated further.’ 

The schools uniform policy is shared online and requires skirts to be worn ‘on the knee’.  

Their uniform guide for years nine to 11 states: ‘Skirts should be worn and should be on the knee and no more than 5 cm above the knee when kneeling (i.e. 5 cm above the mid point of the knee cap).’

It adds: ‘Girls wearing a skirt which is too short for them will be asked to replace it with a new, longer skirt.’

Girls can also wear ‘slim leg or regular fit’ trousers ‘in a formal style’ – although ‘skinny or jegging style trousers are not permitted’. 

Notable former pupils at the school, which was founded by Henry VIII in 1541, include Conservative MP Richard Bacon, the late comedian Rik Mayall and Sky News presenter Jeremy Thompson. 

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