Gillingham parents complain about uniform rules at Robert Napier
Parents have reacted angrily to a crackdown on uniform
at a Medway secondary school.
Teachers at Robert Napier in
Gillingham has been confiscating coats from pupils if they are not
black and some pupils have been sent home for not wearing the
One concerned dad claims
almost 400 pupils were sent home in one day.
Parents who contacted the
Medway Messenger said new rules were introduced before half-term in
February. They claim the new rules include pupils only being
allowed to wear black coats without a hood and black
However, the school in Third
Avenue insists the rules are not new and have always been in
One parent who did not want
to be named said: "My daughter signed a code of conduct when she
joined the school in 2007 which stated that she could wear brown
shoes, it didn’t say what colour coat pupils had to wear. Now if
anyone isn’t abiding by these rules they get sent home.
"I don’t disagree with the
rules - after all they want pupils to look smart and I think having
the children all dressed the same helps to prevent bullying. But I
think the school should be giving parents more time to buy new
"They were told before the
half term and expected to abide by the new rules on the first day
back. They should give parents the summer to buy new things and
bring in the new rules in September."
Another parent, who did not
want to be named, said: "Does the school think parents have a never
ending supply of money to buy new coats, trousers and footwear when
a head teacher decides she feels like changing the
"A smartly dressed child will
not perform any better in class, it just makes them worry if they
are dressed correctly that week."
did not respond to the Medway Messenger’s request for a
In a school newsletter issued
before half term in February, head teacher Fiona Miller said
uniform is one area the school is focusing on.
She wrote: "Form tutors have
been asked to remind each student of our uniform requirements.
There have been no changes. We have added a little more detail to
assist in decisions that are made, based on queries we have had
this academic year."
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