skirt uniform
(File photo) The boys were told they still had to wear long trousers during the heatwave Getty

Dozens of male pupils at a school in Devon wore skirts to protest a 'no shorts' policy during the recent heatwave.

Boys from ISCA Academy in Exeter attended classes in tartan skirts normally worn by girls as part of their uniforms, after being told they had to continue to wear trousers even as the temperatures reached 32C.

Originally only a handful of boys turned up wearing skirts on Wednesday (21 June), but the following day numbers swelled to around 50.

The pupils are said to have borrowed the clothing from friends or sisters.

A mother of one of the boys told Devon Live: "My son wanted to wear shorts but was told he would be put in the isolation room for the rest of the week.

"The head teacher told them 'Well you can wear a skirt if you like' but I think she was being sarcastic. However children tend to take you literally and so five boys turned up in skirts today – and because she told them it was OK there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts.

"One of the five boys did get in trouble today – because it was too short."

Claire Reeves, 30, said she previously criticised the school for not allowing the boys to wear shorts, as it left her son "suffering". She added: "I have called the school several times and they have told me that if I send my son to school in shorts then he will be sent to the isolation room all day and if I keep him off school then it'll be an unauthorised absence.

"The girls are allowed to wear skirts all year round so I think it's completely unfair that the boys can't wear shorts.

"Boys just don't have the option and I am just really concerned about how the heat is going to affect him."

This summer has seen similar protests against the banning of wearing shorts across Europe. In Buckinghamshire, call centre worker Joey barge was sent home after turning up for his shift wearing shorts, only to return wearing a pink dress.

Bus drivers in France and Sweden also took to wearing dresses and skirts to work after they were told they could not wear shorts on duty.

ISCA Academy headteacher Aimee Mitchell said they will be considering the school's uniform policy in the wake of the protest.

Mitchell added: "We recognise that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible.

"Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families.

"However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future."