School uniform row in Sheffield divides opinion

Outwood Academy City
Outwood Academy City
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A row over schoolchildren in Sheffield being sent home for breaching the uniform policy appears to have divided opinion.

Some people have backed the school in question, arguing that most parents have no problems following the rules, but others accused it of being too strict and said if pupils are expected to comply with such rigid dress codes so should teachers.

The offending shoes

The offending shoes

Ashley Binley, aged 14, was among several pupils turned away by Outwood Academy City on Wednesday after arriving for the first day of term in what the school deemed inappropriate footwear and refusing to wear the alternative shoes she was offered.

The school said its dress code was clearly set out to all parents but Ashley's dad believed her plain black shoes met the criteria and should not have ended up costing her a day's education.

The row prompted a lively debate among readers on The Star's Facebook page.

Alison Pearson, who has three children at the school, said it would be unfair on parents who complied with the rules if the teenager had been allowed to wear what she said were 'clearly' black trainers.

Ashley in her uniform

Ashley in her uniform

"I had a right battle getting my kids to have the correct shoes, but managed it because that's what was expected," she added.

Elsie Manning also stood up for the school, saying: "Uniforms are meant to be just that - uniform.

"It stops the bullying which happens when some kids turn up in designer clothes and others can't afford them. If the policy states no trainers then why buy trainers?"

And Kath Garner wrote: "It's the same every year. How come most of them can get it right? Learn to follow the rules."

But others commented that schools should be more lenient when it comes to uniforms.

Wayne Rogers said: "Kids go to school to be educated, not to be inspected by the shoe Nazis. Just ban uniform altogether and stop giving kids a reason to dodge school."

A former student claimed she had been allowed to wear red shoes in the school photo.

"I would have never been at school if I had to follow the stupid rules of this day and age," she added.

And Dale Latham was among those who argued that if pupils were obliged to wear uniforms, teachers should be too.

"What's good enough for the teachers is good enough for pupils. If teachers want pupils in strict uniform, teachers should also wear a uniform," he stated.