Doncaster school hits back in row over teen's ban for coat's fur-trimmed hood
A Doncaster school at the centre of a row over a teenage pupil being sent home for a fur-trimmed hood on her coat says its expects ‘the highest expectations’ when it comes to school uniform.
Grace Evans, 15, was dismissed from lessons at Edlington’s Sir Thomas Wharton Academy last week over the fur-lined hood which staff said was in breach of its uniform policy.
Her fuming mum Claire Williams has hit out at the school saying it needed to get its priorites right and a petition calling for the uniform policy to be ditched has attracted more than 500 signatures.
Now the school has responded to the row and says it expects all its pupils to follow ‘high standards’ when it comes to uniform.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Academy said: "Our vision for Sir Thomas Wharton Academy is to deliver exceptional learning experiences for all children and young people.
"Having the highest expectations in terms of school uniform is just one of multiple proven strategies for school improvement implemented across the Academy, including continuously improving the quality of teaching and learning, attendance and behaviour.
"These combined strategies are ensuring the Academy is continuing to make rapid progress on its school improvement journey.
"Within the Academy all our students follow the high uniform standards.
"All parents received a letter before the summer holidays clearly outlining our uniform expectations.
"We have received a range of positive messages from parents/carers about the rapidly improving standards. Year 6 parents who have recently visited the Academy during a working day were also impressed with the excellent standards of both uniform and conduct of our students.
"Our staff are fully committed to delivering exceptional learning for all our students and recognise the importance of high standards and expectations in driving the school forwards."
Grace, who is in her GCSE year, was told that the faux fur lining of her coat was in breach of the school’s uniform code.
Her mum said: “The policy states that no hoodies, denim, fur and leather jackets are allowed - this is however unclear as to what it actually means.
“They have put children in isolation for simply having a fur lined hood. It also states that no outdoor clothing is allowed in school and will be confiscated as it is ‘classed’ non academy wear.
“The school should not be able to dictate what coats children should be wearing or any clothing for that matter other than the school uniform as advised.
“This is having a negative effect on the education of many students and more teaching time away from the classroom.
"During the past 18 months our children have suffered massively and have dealt with things they should never have to deal with at such a young age in which you would think education establishments would consider when writing the policies of the school.”
The school’s policy states: “Only plain outdoor coats are permitted. Hoodies, fur, denim and leather jackets are not permitted at any time on the academy site. Outdoor coats must be removed at the entrance to the Academy buildings, as outdoor wear is not permitted indoors."