Sheffield girl with ADHD sent home from new secondary after turning up in leggings

A Sheffield schoolgirl has been sent home from her new secondary school following a row over wearing leggings.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 2:45 pm

Scarlett Howden, aged 11, was due to start at Chaucer School on Tuesday after only starting part-time junior school in January.

However, her mum Nicola said that the school have turned Scarlett away every day this week over school uniform issues.

Nicola said that her daughter, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, wanted to wear leggings to Chaucer due to ‘sensory issues’.

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Scarlett Howden has been sent home from Chaucer School
Scarlett Howden has been sent home from Chaucer School

However, the school has told them that all girls are required to wear either trousers or a skirt and that leggings are not part of their school uniform.

Nicola, from Southey Green, said that the school’s response was ‘disgusting’ and harming her daughter’s chances of a proper education.

She said: “Scarlett was really excited to be starting school this week and we all knew that it was a massively important time in her life.

“Unfortunately, she has sensory issues and ADHD. She’s not a naughty child but is very opinionated and can’t stand the tightness or the material of trousers.

“The school knew about this and we’ve had meetings over the summer holiday to address it. So, I sent her to school in leggings on Tuesday and they point blank turned her away.”

Nicola said that she has been in conversation with Ryegate Children’s Centre, Sheffield SEN & Disability Information Advice and Support (SSENDIAS) and Sheffield City Council’s Multi Agency Support Teams (MAST) over Scarlett’s condition.

Despite this, she claims that the school have told Scarlett that she will not be able to attend until she wears the correct uniform.

“Scarlett lives in leggings. We went to Turkey over the summer and she was even in leggings then,” Nicola explained.

“She was so excited to make new friends and start at a new school, but they were so abrupt with us that it left her crying outside.

“She said that it’s ruined her confidence and it’s not given her a very good first impression of the school.”

The family say they have now got a meeting at Chaucer on Monday to discuss the issue but Nicola fears that they may have to find a new school for Scarlett.

“My only other option is to move her on to a mainstream school. I completely understand the school’s point of view but this is my daughter and I need to look after her,” Nicola said.

“She’s not learning, she doesn’t know what classes she’s in, her friends are already making new friends so it’s all going to have a huge effect on her.”

Scott Burnside, headteacher at Chaucer School, said: “We are trying to work with the young person to support and meet her needs within the confines and expectations of our highly inclusive school.

“We want to get the young person back to school as soon as possible to ensure she is highly successful within our environment."