THE Observer has said, on a number of occasions, that improved education within the town is a must if we are to grow and become more financially viable.
The town has pockets of severe deprivation and educational improvement is widely seen as a way of improving the lot of those who live in poverty and poor conditions.
Why then, do you undermine the efforts of those trying to lift standards with your ‘Pupils sent home for wearing the wrong trousers’ headline?
The Academy has apparently made it quite clear, using at least two methods of contact, what the expectations are as regards uniform.
I suspect parents will also have signed some kind of form accepting a code of conduct at the school.
While what you wear has no effect on how you learn, compliance with rules and expectations is an essential element of education.
One hears all too often stories about students not being disciplined in school and how this spills out into society. Here is a school that is attempting (and succeeding) to maintain and improve standards.
Elsewhere in your paper, you report upon the desperate need for jobs in the town. For employers to bring jobs to the town, they need to be sure they will have a workforce that is suitable to their needs.
They require well-educated people who will comply with their own terms and conditions of employment.
Schools are responsible, along with parents, for ensuring children are prepared for the world of work.
Sticking to rules is part of that preparation. Children need to learn to encompass rules as much as they need to learn basic numeracy and literacy.
As a life-long trade unionist I realise rules need to be questioned where they seem to serve no purpose or are discriminatory. However, the newspapers are not the place for such discussions (especially at the early stages).
If parents object to the rules as they stand, they can contact the school and arrange meetings to discuss them, or choose a different school with standards that more clearly match their expectations.