Sheffield school criticised for cancelling Christmas jumper day

A Sheffield school has been criticised for cancelling a Christmas jumper event - on the day the head teacher has gone on a pre-Christmas holiday.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 9:06 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:06 am
Parkwood Academy pupils prepared a Christmas dinner for the elderly

Pupils at Parkwood Academy in Shiregreen organised an unofficial Christmas jumper day for the last day of term today, but were told earlier this week that the event could not go ahead.

The school said it had been 'organised without official permission' and that other Christmas events had been planned for pupils instead.

But parents said children had been left disappointed.

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Principal Victoria Simcock has taken today off to go on a pre-Christmas break.

One parent said: "Some kids had spent time making their own jumpers and were really looking forward to doing something special for the last day of term.

"They had even organised to each pay £1, which was going to go to charity.

"What makes things worst is that the head teacher has taken the day off to go on holiday apparently."

A spokesman for E-ACT, which runs the academy, confirmed that the Christmas jumper day was not going ahead today and that the principal had taken the day off.

He said the day off was booked before she was appointed at the school in September.

The spokesman pointed out that pupils will be delivering Christmas food parcels to the homeless in Sheffield today and that the the school recently organised a Christmas dinner for 60 care home residents.

"Parkwood Academy has raised thousands of pounds for charity this year through various student and staff initiatives including a Winter Bazaar which raised over £1,300 for St Luke’s Hospice and a Christmas dinner for 60 elderly people from a local care home," he said.

"Today, Year 7 students will be delivering food parcels to Sheffield Cathedral for the homeless in Sheffield.

"While the academy prides itself on playing an active philanthropic role in the local community, the Christmas jumper day was organised without official permission from the academy by two of our students.

"Mrs Simcock’s annual leave was booked in and authorised prior to her appointment as headteacher of Parkwood Academy in September 2016. In her absence the academy’s assistant headteachers will take charge."

Pupils and staff have raised £15,383.61 for St Luke's Hospice in total - £8,000 last year and £2,000 since September.