One teenager, Dan Crouch, 15, was reportedly made to sit his GCSE maths exam in isolation because he was not wearing the right shoes.
William Parker Sports College is also said to be sending kids home if they are turning up in inappropriate footwear.
Dan's mum, Michele McEwan, said she and many other parents were furious over the school's stance.
She told her local paper, the Hastings Observer: "His dad ended up having to buy him a pair of black leather shoes in the end. I can't afford to spend £50 for new shoes that Dan keeps wearing out. I looked up the definition of a plimsoll, which is a canvas shoe. There is nothing in the school's policy that says it has to be a black leather shoe, it just says black shoe."
Another mum, Lucy Hurst said her son was also sent home - despite wearing the same shoes to school since before Christmas without ever having previously been pulled up on it. Ms Hurst said she told the school she was 'not happy'
"He does have a pair but they are worn out. Every term I've had to buy a new pair of black leather shoes for him. I can't keep doing it. The school's policy just states black shoes and my son wears black ones, but they are plimsolls."
The school's head John Court said their uniform policy does state black shoes.
He said "We did some checking and found some of our students were not wearing appropriate shoes so with health and safety in mind we put our foot down."
He added that he knew some parents were 'struggling' and that the school kept a supply of black leather shoes for students to wear if their own were damaged. But he maintained:
"Black plimsolls are not black shoes."
The school policy on shoes had not changed in 20 years he said, adding that the current shoe lending system worked 'very well'.
What do you think? Is a black canvas shoe good enough as a school shoe, especially when boys are growing a shoe size a month?