What a load of old tosh has come from your readers about school uniform. Under the heading ‘Learning to follow the rules is good preparation for entering the world of work’ Keith Milchem shows he knows nothing about the issue. In the fourth paragraph of his diatribe he writes ‘The Academy has apparently made it quite clear what the expectations are as regards uniform.’ The fact is it didn’t make it clear.
In the Observer dated September 7 David Smith, father of a child sent home from the school, reported that his daughter was wearing the same style of trousers she wore throughout her last term. In last week’s edition Mrs Cooper accepts ‘They are very specific with the uniform skirt, which is fine, but all the policy says is black trousers.’ But MJ Boutell writes praising the principal of the academy for ‘refusing entry to 50 pupils who deliberately chose not to be in the correct school uniform.’
The Hastings Academy website reads ’plain black trousers or black pleated skirt.’
Mr Milchem only gets it right when he says ‘newspapers are not the place for such discussions’. In an egotistical show of authority, staff at the school have alienated many children and their parents. Mrs Malone, of Churchill Avenue, is quoted saying ’it’s just petty and puts a dampener on the first day of term’. I bet! Rather than having a private word about her problems with those concerned, the principal, Theresa Phillips, and her staff justify the attitude some children, and some parents, already have about disrespecting authority. The academy website says it believes in ‘seeing each person as unique, valuable and important regardless of background, race, gender belief or other personal characteristic’, they have not lived up to this.
Why the principal won’t just admit she got it wrong about the pleat in the trousers astonishes me, but, in future, I do hope she insists on turn-ups on trousers for the boys.