School drops legal action, apologises to Muslim girl who refused to wear short skirt

Siham Hamud

Lawyers for a Muslim family threatened with legal action because their daughter refused to wear a short skirt to school say that Uxbridge High School have now withdrawn legal threats and have apologised.

Siham Hamud, 12, was sent home every day in December from Uxbridge High School in west London and told to only come back when she wore a shorter skirt.

The school had threatened the family with legal action over their daughter’s alleged unauthorised absences. But Siham’s parents had always maintained that shorter skirts contravened the family’s religious beliefs.

Lawyers Mishcon de Reya assisted the Hamud family in raising concerns about the uniform rules at Uxbridge High School and the way in which it was applied to their daughter.

Mishcon de Reya said: “During December 2020, Siham was unable to attend school because her religious beliefs prohibited her from wearing trousers or a skirt of the length prescribed by the school.

Uxbridge High School. Pic: Wikipedia Commons License

“Following written representations on behalf of the Hamud family and a complaints panel hearing, the school concluded that the family was justified in raising concerns and took the decision to accommodate Siham’s right to practice her faith by wearing an ankle-length skirt in the same style as the school uniform.

“Uxbridge High School has also confirmed that it will not take any legal action against the Hamud family for the period that Siham was unable to attend school and have provided the Hamud family with a letter of apology.”

Siham’s father, Idris Hamud, said the family were relieved. In a statement released by Mishcon de Reya, Hamud said he was pleased that the school had listened to the family’s concerns and concluded that they were justified in raising the issue.

“We are very happy that Siham has been able to resume her schooling, with her right to practice her faith by wearing an ankle-length skirt in the same style as the school uniform skirt now accommodated by the school,” he said.

“We thank the school for its willingness to work towards a fair and positive outcome. This has been a difficult period and we are relieved to now have the matter concluded. We are grateful for the support we have received from the wider community.”

Siham had been wearing an ankle-length skirt to school for years, even though the school says girls should wear black trousers or a black pleated skirt from official uniform suppliers.

Siham’s older sisters both wore longer skirts to school without issue. Hamud previously said his daughter was being denied an education because of her religious beliefs.

The school has not yet commented on the matter.

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