Hartsdown Academy School Uniform: Police Called To School After 50 Kids Sent Home

DfE guidance on what to do if this happens to your kids.

07/09/2016 10:25 | Updated 08 September 2016

Police were called to a school during the first week of term after 50 children were reportedly sent home over uniform issues.

Parents protested outside Hartsdown Academy, in Margate, on Tuesday 6 September 2016 when kids were turned away for not adhering to the uniform policy. 

Reported issues with the uniform included frills on socks, Velcro shoes and short skirts, The Telegraph reported.

“Absolutely disgusted with Hartsdown school,” mum Latasha Whiting wrote on Facebook.

“I go everywhere to buy my 15-year-old daughter a school skirt that doesn’t go up round her ears because of how long her legs are (5ft 10).

“I find her one that covers most of her thighs but she gets turned away at the gates.” 

The mother added: “My husband had a 12-year-old begging him to take her home as she couldn’t get hold of her parents.”

The academy’s on-site police community support officer called in colleagues to help resolve the issue after parents stood outside the school gates with their children. 

Headteacher Matthew Tate said he warned parents this would happen before the summer holidays.

“We wrote to parents to say we would be ensuring our uniform policy is adhered to and that if children were not in perfect uniform today they would be sent home,” he said, according to The Mirror.

“The majority of our parents are pleased with that.” 

In the Department for Education’s (DfE) latest policy on school uniform, published in September 2013, it states it is the responsibility of the governing body of a school to decide what the school uniform policy should be.

The government department states disputes about school uniform should be resolved locally and pursued in accordance with the school’s complaints policy.

It states: “Parents should be able to lodge their complaints and/or objections easily.

“We do expect the governing body to consult and work closely with parents to arrive at a mutually acceptable outcome.”

The advice states teachers are able to discipline pupils for breaching the school’s rules on appearance or uniform.

“A headteacher, or a person authorised by the headteacher, may ask a pupil to go home briefly to remedy a breach of the school’s rules on appearance or uniform,” the advice states.

“When making this decision schools need to consider the child’s age and vulnerability, the ease and time it will take, and the availability of the child’s parents. This is not an exclusion but an authorised absence.

“The pupil’s parents must be notified and the absence should be recorded. If a school is considering excluding a pupil in response to breaches of uniform policy then this must be in line with the legal requirements for exclusion.”

For more information on the DofE’s school uniform policy, view the advice here

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