Huge backlash from parents after hundreds of pupils get letter home for wearing the 'wrong shoes'

A school has backed down over its policy on school shoes after an angry backlash from parents.

Monday, 12th September 2016, 4:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th September 2016, 8:55 am
Eckington School
Eckington School

Eckington School issued a strong stance back in June of last year urging parents to buy shoes that were 'plain, black, formal leather or leather-look outdoor shoes or ankle boots with no obvious logos'. Trainer brands were said to be 'unacceptable.'

Margaret Hooper's 13-year-old grandson was told he had the wrong type of shoes despite them being made of black leather. The issue seemed to be the 'small metal clips' on the top near the laces.

Mrs Hooper, 79, from Dronfield, said pupils were stopped and asked to lift up their trouser legs while senior members of staff inspected if they had the correct footwear when they returned to school last week.

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The grandmother also said a teacher was 'taking photos' of pupil's shoes and hundreds of letters had been sent home.

But Eckington's head, Patrick Cummings stressed the photos that were taken were of pupil's who had come in the correct footwear. The pictures were then uploaded to the school website as an example of what parents should be buying.

Now the school has backed down and told pupils to continue to wear the shoes they came in after parents went out and bought new ones.

Mrs Hooper, said: "You've now got this ridiculous situation where parents have had to buy new shoes over the weekend then be told by their kids they can carry on wearing them after the school backed down.

"They're flip-flopping, it's upset lots of parents they've spent lots of money trying to buy the right shoes - it's not been clear, I know loads that have rang up the school and have complained about it.

"There was a letter sent out on Friday on shoes on you couldn't make head or tail of it.

"They look smart the kids at Eckington with their shirt, tie and blazers - shoes have never been a problem before, even Clarks which are geared towards schools are not acceptable."

Another parent who didn't want to be named said '70 per cent' of pupils had the 'wrong type of shoe' and had a letter sent home asking them to come back to school with the correct ones.

But despite a huge backlash from parents on social media, headteacher Patrick Cummings said the school's response had been 'entirely reasonable'

Mr Cummings said: "Our shoe policy was clear. Parents have bought shoes in good faith and they've noted possible ambiguity in the policy that was set out.

"So we've said pupils can carry on wearing their shoes they originally came in but once they need new ones, we're directing parents to our website where we have pictures on example footwear which is acceptable.

"No pupil has been sent home at any point since we returned to school last Wednesday in terms of uniform - this is complete nonsense.

"Our response has been entirely reasonable."