Parents were left frustrated this week after uniform changes at Bermondsey’s City of London Academy Southwark saw children sent home on the first day of school – because of their shoes.
Students who turned up in shoes they say they had worn in previous years were sent away if their parents could be contacted.
Amy Griffiths, a parent who had two of her children sent home, said: “Over the summer they changed it [the uniform rules]. My son and daughter went in with the same uniform as last year. My daughter is a big girl with big feet and Kicker [the shoe brand] boots are the only ones that fit.
“I can’t just go into a store and get another pair. She was sent home because the shoes are not allowed. I understand the need for uniform but we have never had any issue with the Kickers.
“All these parents went out to buy these boots and now have to go out and buy a new pair.”
Aaron Dutton, another parent, said: “My little girl was sent home because of her shoes. I bought her black patent leather shoes but they [the school] said they were no good because you can’t polish them.”
Marcus Huntley, Head of School at The City of London Academy Southwark, said: “We are committed to promoting the highest standards of behaviour so that pupils can achieve their academic potential, as well as being equipped for the world of work and higher education.
“In order to achieve this, we expect the Academy, pupils, parents and carers to work in partnership to uphold the Academy’s expectations of behaviour and attendance.
“A small minority of children went home to change after we had been in contact with their parents for authorisation. Where we were unable to contact parents, pupils were allowed to continue their learning.
“The policy has been communicated to parents on several occasions including by post and it is available on our website – and clearly states that students who come to the Academy without the correct uniform will be sent home to change.
“We value feedback from parents and we will continue to develop our uniform policy further in the light of their comments.
“As well as an established PTA, the Academy has introduced a termly Parents’ Coffee Morning to enable them to continue to work in partnership with the Academy.”