School criticised for uniform policy change - three weeks before end of term
A SCHOOL has been criticised by parents who claim it has changed its uniform policy just three weeks before the end of the academic year.
Pupils at Backwell School have been told that Miss Sexy-branded trousers and tube skirts are banned.
Parents have also reported that teachers have been using a marked ruler to measure the gap between girls' knees and their hemlines, to ensure skirts are not too short.
They say girls have been told to ensure their skirts end no more than three inches above the knee. Parents say they cannot be expected be buy replacement clothing for their children with fewer than 20 days of the summer term remaining.
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They have also complained that they were not sent a letter warning them of any tightening of uniform rules.
The school insists it has not changed its policy and is merely reminding pupils of the rules to ensure they are stuck to next year.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said: "It beggars belief that this school is changing its uniform policy less than three weeks before the end of the academic year.
"Do those behind this live in the real world? Do they really think any parent is going to rush out and buy new skirts or trousers for less than 20 days' wear, knowing that by September they will probably be too small?
"The fair way to do this would be to write to parents and tell them there will be a change in uniform policy from the start of the next academic year. That would at least give parents notice.
"As for going around classrooms measuring skirt lengths with a ruler - there really is something archaic and distasteful about that.
"They are only doing this because they can. You really would hope the staff at Backwell would have more productive things to do with their time."
Emma Yates, deputy head teacher at the school, said the policy was not new and that staff were only reinforcing guidance laid out in the school handbook to ensure all students could abide by the rules in time for the next school year in September.
She said the school had taken action over uniform because several students had recently arrived wearing skirts and trousers which were deemed inappropriate.
Miss Yates said tube skirts and jeans-style trousers had never been part of the school uniform, and said she was not aware of skirts being measured with a ruler.
She said: "We have never banned specific makes of skirts or trousers, but have been specific about what we deem to be inappropriate styles."
Of skirts being measured, she said: "We are not aware of this specific incident. However, if this did occur then it would have been done to ensure that students are fully aware of what is an appropriate length for a school skirt.
"Following our guidance to parents in the school handbook, we are currently reinforcing our expectations so that all of our students can be in full school uniform by September.
"As a result, parents are being advised that trousers and skirts should be tailored so that all students can take pride in their personal appearance.
"We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from parents, who are grateful to us for removing the pressure that their children can feel to conform to fashion trends in school.
"Backwell School uniform is designed to be smart, practical, comfortable and affordable. However, over recent months, as fashions have changed, we have had to have conversations with students about skirts and trousers that we deem inappropriate for a school environment. These conversations take valuable time away from what matters most – learning."