14:02, November 07 331 0 theguardian.com

2017-11-07 14:02:04
Equal Opportunities Commission could not make ruling on school skirts

Contrary to what Don Chapman (Letters, 6 November) asserts, it did not and does not make sense to say that a schoolgirl, or anyone, can successfully take their case to the Equal Opportunities Commission, now the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The EHRC, like the EOC before it, can support cases in court, but that the EOC supports a case is of no more legal weight than the support of anyone else.

The case of Jo Hale, which Chapman refers to, settled, and that is a common problem in these cases. That the EOC thought this amounted to sex discrimination in 1999 makes it all the more shocking that 18 years on we still have no case law to confirm this, despite many schools continuing these sexist uniform rules.

My article (Opinion, 3 November) was intended to get wider publicity for this issue, so that a successful case can be brought before a court, and hopefully establish for the benefit of all schoolgirls that denying them the right to wear trousers is always direct sex discrimination.

Anna Macey

Barrister, London

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters