A private school in Worcester is being investigated after staff reportedly took part in sexist and degrading behaviour.

Staff at King’s School in Worcester have been accused of enforcing sexist rules in the school. Moreover, there have been stories of girls being forced to kneel while their skirts were measured.

This information has come to light after a 22-year-old student, Soma Sara, set up an online safe space for students to discuss abuse and harassment.

What has been said?

An anonymous user discussed how skirt lengths were checked:

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

This shocking comment highlights a number of institutional issues within the school. Furthermore, people are concerned about the sexism detailed.

The school’s statement

In response to the claims, Headmaster Gareth Doodes has 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 Invited 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.”

Despite these comments, some will be concerned that the rules were allowed to continue before the forum was set up. Furthermore, others will be worried that some of the specific issues outlined in the story have not been addressed.

However, a story such as this could have a significant impact on a private school.

Going forward

While many will want the school to mend its policies, it could impact its finances. The institution currently charges £15,000 per year and some may feel this is not an appropriate price because of the issues that have been highlighted.

In future, many will hope that the school reviews its policies. 

Image via Alamy