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Girls say yes to longer hemlines

By Victor Gordon

Published 07/09/2007

The long and short of it is that hemlines are lengthening at Portadown College - similar to the ruling at the start of term from Methodist College.

The college's head teacher Deborah O'Hare announced the new knee-length skirt this week, and underlined the decision was taken jointly by staff, students, the senior management team and board of governors.

" The process started before I was appointed last year," said Mrs O'Hare, the school's first female head.

"It began two years ago when it was felt that uniformity was required in the girls' uniform."

Hemlines, it appears, were all over the place, from knee-length to high-thigh.

So, a shortlist of three styles was considered by the students, and they plumped for a tailored style with two pleats which fall just below the knee.

"We made the change in consultation with our suppliers and we're proud to say they're made in Northern Ireland," said Mrs O'Hare. "A Tyrone firm makes them. The initial idea was to introduce them to Year 11 pupils - the new pupils - and Year 13, but most girls in all four years want to wear them and they are really popular."

Years 11 and 13 are the equivalent to Form Four and Lower Sixth in most grammar schools. But Portadown College is part of the area's unique Dickson Plan for Education - a senior grammar school. There has been no 11-plus in the area for 30 years, and students start aged 14, moving up from junior high schools.

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