DCSIMG

Chesterfield school puts children in “isolation” over uniform row

Newbold Community School. Angry parents outside school after their children were banned due to uniform. Keelan Canning, Tracie Canning, Jessica Timmons, Andy Canning and Rex Brassington.

Newbold Community School. Angry parents outside school after their children were banned due to uniform. Keelan Canning, Tracie Canning, Jessica Timmons, Andy Canning and Rex Brassington.

Dozens of pupils were put into “isolation” on the first day of term - for wearing the wrong uniform.

Newbold Community School has taken a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to students who do not abide by the uniform policy.

But angry parents say children are missing out on vital study time in the run up to GCSEs after being banned from the classroom.

A* student Chloe Timmons, 15, was excluded from lessons and forced to sit in silence because teachers said the sole of her black Vans shoes were too thick. Mum Jessica, of Newbold, said: “This is in the middle of GCSEs and she has 100 per cent attendance. Expecting children to miss out on their education because of a pair of shoes is not acceptable.”

Tracie Canning’s 16-year-old son Keelan was kept in isolation for three hours because his black Velcro shoes and pierced lip were deemed unacceptable.

Tracie said: “We understood his piercings would be okay if he wore his retainer but for some reason the school changed the rules.”

She added: “Keelan was wearing his shoes before the holiday but the school has taken a dislike to them and say he must now wear dress shoes.” Paul Harwood of Holme Hall said his 16-year-old son Matthew had also been pulled out of class for wearing black Velcro shoes. He added: “Having a uniform is a good thing but it appears that pettiness is overtaking common sense as children are being taken out of class during exam time.”

Head teacher Sean McClafferty said he wrote to parents before Easter outlining the uniform policy.

He added: “I wrote to all parents before Easter introducing myself and outlining my expectations of pupils and parents (which are the same as at St Mary’s).

“This letter emphasised that learning would come first, uniform would be strictly adhered to and that if pupils arrived on the first day back - Monday, April 28 - not in correct uniform they would be sent home.

“Before the Easter break form tutors went through these letters with all pupils, the letters were posted on the website and parents were told to contact the school over the Easter break if there were any hardship issues as the school would help provide any necessary uniform. I also made it clear that I would not tolerate disruption to lessons or pupils challenging staff.

“The rules included; no wearing of outdoor coats, scarfs etc.. indoors, no facial piercings, one watch, one ring and plain stud earrings would be allowed, black school shoes to be worn and any mobile phones seen by staff would be confiscated for a week.

“Parents and pupils were warned of the consequences of failure to follow these rules.

“I think the problem has arisen simply as some pupils and parents did not believe we would follow through with these consequences. We had a large number of exclusions and pupils isolated on the first day, this has decreased on the 2nd day and will continue to fall.

“I believe I have the support of the vast majority of parents and would have hoped even if parents did not believe in some of these rules that they would support me and the school as we try to set the bar high in terms of what we expect from our pupils here at Newbold School.”

 

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