Banbury Academy pupils excluded for flouting uniform code

Banbury Academy where uniform policy is being strictly enforced
Banbury Academy where uniform policy is being strictly enforced

Pupils have been intercepted for wearing the ‘wrong uniform’ in a crackdown one parent has described as ‘Gestapo-like’.

Children wearing the wrong ‘cut’ of trousers or the wrong type of shoe material are being put in internal exclusion for not obeying the rules.

New principal at Banbury Academy, Sylvia Thomas said it was part of a drive to raise standards.

Miss Thomas, who hit the headlines at her previous school - Baverstock Academy in Birmingham - for sending pupils home for wearing the wrong type of shoes, is repeating her quest in a bid to to achieve full compliance with the school’s uniform rules.

A mum, who did not want to be named, told the Banbury Guardian: “There are teachers dotted all the way along Ruskin Road from the school gate to the shop, at both ends of the day, monitoring the children and stopping them if there’s something wrong with the way they’re dressed.

“My daughter was excluded for wearing the wrong shoes. They’re the right colour but not the right material. She wore them last term but now apparently that’s not good enough.

“She was told she can’t wear them and will not be let back into her class without replacements. I work full time and I can’t take time out to go shoe shopping.

“I don’t have money to burn. What happens to those parents who are on benefits and cannot afford new shoes I don’t know.

“They are making a spectacle of her. I’m flabbergasted by it. The Daily Mail has been running stories about a head who’s been doing the same thing. It’s Gestsapo-like.”

The mum said pupils transgressing the uniform code include girls who wear trousers being stopped because they are the ‘wrong cut’.

“They’re all being put in internal exclusion until they turn up in clothes or shoes the head says are OK. They’re kept away from their normal classes in segregation,” she said.

“My daughter is not going to be allowed back until she has leather or plastic shoes that can be wiped or polished. Suede or any other material is not acceptable.

“Have the teachers nothing better to do than go after pupils to see what they’re wearing?”

Miss Thomas said: “Everyone was sent a text before term began. Every child not dressed appropriately has been spoken to in the first instance.

“There are now less than five pupils out of 760 who we are supporting to get things right and meet our expectations.

“As part of our drive to raise standards in all aspects of our work on the Banbury Campus we are ensuring that all existing policies are applied as consistently as possible.

“We have not changed the uniform policy since last year. The detailed policy is on the website. Anyone not dressed as per the policy has been asked to rectify the issue and given adequate time to do so. Where this hasn’t happened we have then enforced other sanctions open to us.”

The Banbury Academy uniform code says jeans, jean-like trousers, heavy cotton trousers, ‘chinos’, leggings or any other casual trousers are not acceptable and embellishments such as studs are not permitted.

Skirts must be of a pleated style. Jersey and other clingy or tight fitting skirts are not acceptable. Skirts should reach at least the mid-point between the thigh and the knee. Shoes should be leather or plastic, not canvas, suede or other material.

Boots are not allowed. Students who have a long walk and need to wear boots to school must change into shoes when they arrive.