A couple of days ago I wrote a post about what I felt was a bad decision by the Head and Governors of my daughter's secondary school to ban school skirts in an attempt to stop certain girls abusing the dress code by wearing revealing short, tight styles. I wrote a letter to express (politely) my feelings about the decision.
Today, a letter arrived in the post from the head saying that the 'ban' was only intended to be for the remainder of the term and as from September, the new uniform regulations would include a plain black knee length skirt.
The initial letter that had given details of the ban made no mention of its temporary nature or of the 'uniform skirt' deemed acceptable. It seems fairly clear to me that the objections from parents must have forced the Head and Governors to reconsider and amend their decision (by amend I do of course mean make a compete U-turn).
I have the outcome I wanted - Charis will not have to stand out as a rebel for wearing sensible, smart, weather appropriate clothing. However, I am deeply disappointed by the handling of the situation.
In my eyes, the Head and Governors had a knee jerk reaction which resulted in a bad decision being made. Rather than holding their hands up, admitting a mistake had been made and apologising, they have tried to wriggle out of it by making it look like a misunderstanding. To me, that is plain dishonesty and not an example I want set for my child.
Having witnessed such bad management of a situation, it has made me question what other decisions and cover ups are going on that I don't know about - things that might have far more serious consequences to my child's education than whether or not skirt length can be regulated within the establishment.
I was psyching myself up to compose a strongly worded letter to this effect when I thought that it is really not fair of me to criticise if I am not prepared to be pro-active in making changes for the better. Governors work hard without financial remuneration. They may have acted in a way that I don't approve of but unless I am willing to stand myself and put in the time and effort that they do, I cannot justifiably complain. What is the point of saying you could do a better job if you're not prepared to actually do it?
I am not prepared to take precious time away from my family and my life to get involved with the running of the school - so I rely on others. As long as my daughter is receiving a reasonable standard of education and is thriving in her educational environment (which she is), I am content.
I wish that the Head had behaved in a way that I would be proud for my daughter to emulate. Instead, she will learn a different life lesson. Sometimes people disappoint you but unless you're prepared to do it better yourself, make the best of it and move on!