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Home Deal News Article
Concerned parents have spoken out after a row over changes to the uniform at Sandwich Technology School.
Parents claim that the secondary school has banned children from wearing fitted, stretchy trousers, socks with coloured heels and boys sporting facial hair.
This has angered pupils and parents who say that expecting them to buy a new uniform straight after Christmas is unacceptable.
One parent claimed that when her Year 11 daughter complained about this she was excluded for the day.
Kate Lewis, of Grantham Avenue, Deal, said: “My daughter was excluded for a day on Friday along with 50 other pupils for trying to talk to the headmistress about this.
“A group of them went to talk to the head and the head told them to go away and she wouldn’t speak to them. They’ve worn these types of trousers for five years. She’s only got a couple of months left. I’m not buying her a new pair.”
Mrs Lewis explained that the school had told them this was not a new change but she says nothing had been said before about her daughter’s fitted trousers.
She added: “I’ve told them my daughter will be coming to school in these trousers or she doesn’t come to school at all.
“Every day she’s being pulled out of lessons and spoken to about her uniform and taking valuable time out of her classes.
“All my children have come here and I’ve never had a problem but now they’ve changed the head all these problems have started.”
Aileen O’Leary, from Sandwich, said: “I think the uniform is perfect, it makes it a lot easier for us parents – but not half-way through the year.
“Tell us the academic year before if you’re going to change it. That would be much fairer.
“I’m not surprised this has angered so many parents and the facial hair thing I really don’t understand.”
Phil Sidall, 58, of Gore Lane, Eastry, said he feels disappointed over the lack of communication from the school, claiming that the head teacher would not return his calls over the matter.
He added: “I’ve been ringing to try and speak to the head but haven’t been able to get through.
“A lot of parents can’t afford these new trousers straight after Christmas, it’s short notice, and even the teachers aren’t setting a good example when they’re wearing jeans."
Mr Sidall also said that some of the pupils held a protest against the stricter regulations and were subsequently suspended for five days, although this was denied by head teacher Veronica Gomez.
“Parents and carers are advised of the dress code when their child joins and sign a Home-School Agreement that says they will ensure that their child observes the uniform rules. To add further clarity, there is an illustrated guide to the dress code on our school website.
“In May 2012, in a newsletter to parents, I first highlighted my concerns that a number of students were wearing very tight fitting trousers or even leggings instead of trousers, that were not appropriate for school. I reiterated my concerns in letters dated July 2012, February 2013 and May 2013.
“Despite all of our efforts, students have continued to flout the rules and, in December 2013, in a further letter, I advised parents and carers that the dress code would be enforced strictly and without exception – some 19 months after I first raised the issue.
“With regard to the assertion that students have been suspended for five days for protesting against the rules, this is simply not true.
“We encourage students to wear their uniform with pride and the vast majority of parents have been supportive of this issue being addressed.”
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