Parents slam Banstead school for sending home 50 school children

Your Local Guardian: Parents slam Banstead school for sending home 50 school children Parents slam Banstead school for sending home 50 school children

Angry parents have slammed a Banstead school for sending home around 50 children for not conforming to the school dress code.

The students, from The Beacon School, in Picquets Way, were identified as they returned after half term on Monday, October 31.

Students, some of them studying for their GCSEs, were either sent home if parents were contactable, and told not to come back until they were wearing appropriate uniform, or kept in isolation and not allowed to attend classes.

A number were still off school on Wednesday and furious parents, many of whom have had to take days off work to look after their youngsters, insist they were not given any warning of the clampdown.

One parent, who has filed an official complaint with the school governors, said her 15-year-old son was sent home for wearing plain black canvas plimsolls rather than the 'black leather style school shoes' stipulated in the schools uniform policy.

She said: “As far as I’m concerned he’s not gone in with pink hair but a pair of black shoes.

“I explained to them that I thought it was appalling that children were being sent home purely on their footwear.

“It’s pathetic. What’s more important, our kids’ education or the material of their shoes?

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“They are making it into such a big issue and yet it’s such a big year for these kids.

“At no time have they stated that they would be sending or turning children away.

“That’s what I think a lot of parents were shocked and angry.

“It’s not about making an exception but they have got to understand that times are really hard.

“It was very extreme to segregate the children that day. As far as I’m concerned they have over stepped the mark.”

The mixed-sex secondary school, whose motto is Achieving Together, has more than 1,000 pupils and is hoping to gain Academy status next month.

It is a specialist media arts college, which has improved in recent years after failing an OfSted inspection in 2007 and being put in special measures for poor leadership, which resulted in the resignation of the then head teacher John Darker.

The current headteacher, Lisa Croke, took over the school last September. Another parent said: “If I take my son out of school we are all threatened with being fined and being reported to the education authority and yet they can send our children home?

“If they turn up at school in trainers they are made to take them off and put on black plimsolls and that’s what he has been wearing.

“It has made me really angry because I spend the day at work trying to ring the school and they won’t return any of my calls.

“My husband has had to leave work and lose a day’s pay to get my son, on top of having to buy a new pair of shoes, so I am not happy.”

The school was repeatedly asked to explain its position but had still not responded.

The school's uniform policy says: "The school is very proud of the high standards of appearance created by our students wearing school uniform and the school expects all students to wear the following uniform.

"Students should avoid extremes of fashion in terms of the uniform or hairstyles."

Comments (9)

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5:58pm Wed 2 Nov 11

Snork says...

I really have no sympathy with people that don't abide by the rules. If you can't be bothered to obey a few school rules how on earth will you ever grow into a law abiding citizen. Rules are rules if you don't like them send your child to a school that isn't bothered!!!!
I really have no sympathy with people that don't abide by the rules. If you can't be bothered to obey a few school rules how on earth will you ever grow into a law abiding citizen. Rules are rules if you don't like them send your child to a school that isn't bothered!!!! Snork

9:37pm Wed 2 Nov 11

Wilde1 says...

Ah yes, the good old 'rules is rules' argument. And tell me, where does that get people in term of progress? Women's right to vote, gay & black equality, overthrowing Hitler . . . I think you get the point.
Teenagers are made to rebel & push the boundaries. Flouting a school rule on uniform is a minor offence. They have not been sent home for verbal or physical agression again members of staff. Ultimately, if they are learning & getting good grades then who cares what colour shoes, hair or underwear they have on. The priorities are all wrong & maybe that's reflected in the exam results.
Ah yes, the good old 'rules is rules' argument. And tell me, where does that get people in term of progress? Women's right to vote, gay & black equality, overthrowing Hitler . . . I think you get the point. Teenagers are made to rebel & push the boundaries. Flouting a school rule on uniform is a minor offence. They have not been sent home for verbal or physical agression again members of staff. Ultimately, if they are learning & getting good grades then who cares what colour shoes, hair or underwear they have on. The priorities are all wrong & maybe that's reflected in the exam results. Wilde1

11:25am Thu 3 Nov 11

Hottotty says...

I think it is awful to think the children lost out on important education due to the material of there shoes !! Not the style , it isn't a case of disobeying the rules it's the case of the school being particular in the material of the shoes , hardly a good enough reason to send children home children would not be segregated if this was a race issue it's nothing more then dictatorship .
I think it is awful to think the children lost out on important education due to the material of there shoes !! Not the style , it isn't a case of disobeying the rules it's the case of the school being particular in the material of the shoes , hardly a good enough reason to send children home children would not be segregated if this was a race issue it's nothing more then dictatorship . Hottotty

9:44am Fri 4 Nov 11

SollyAtwell says...

"furious parents, many of whom have had to take days off work to look after their youngsters, "

And there lies the crux of the problem. Parents having to look after their own children - whatever next?
If you had looked after them a bit more and made sure they had the correct uniform the problem would never have arisen in the first place.
There are lots of rules and laws people don't like, paying taxes and being told where they can't park etc, but for the good of the whole we go along with them except those who think they are a special case. Eventually they have to face sanctions for their actions.
"furious parents, many of whom have had to take days off work to look after their youngsters, " And there lies the crux of the problem. Parents having to look after their own children - whatever next? If you had looked after them a bit more and made sure they had the correct uniform the problem would never have arisen in the first place. There are lots of rules and laws people don't like, paying taxes and being told where they can't park etc, but for the good of the whole we go along with them except those who think they are a special case. Eventually they have to face sanctions for their actions. SollyAtwell

12:37pm Fri 4 Nov 11

Anon001 says...

As a parent at The Beacon School I would just like to point out that all parents have recently been issued with a new behaviour policy. The expectations re uniform and shoes were clearly stated in it and parents have been given a whole half term to rectify any issues around the need to buy new shoes for example. This isn't news by any means! I would like to applaud the other 1100 or so students who do wear the correct uniform with pride and the staff at the school for their efforts in this key area.
As a parent at The Beacon School I would just like to point out that all parents have recently been issued with a new behaviour policy. The expectations re uniform and shoes were clearly stated in it and parents have been given a whole half term to rectify any issues around the need to buy new shoes for example. This isn't news by any means! I would like to applaud the other 1100 or so students who do wear the correct uniform with pride and the staff at the school for their efforts in this key area. Anon001

5:48pm Fri 4 Nov 11

JustJackk says...

As a student at this school, i've been in "pumps" (plimpsoles) since half way through year 7, as the walk/ride to school was ruining my school shoes. This year when i came back in september i had just spend £50 on a pair of leather Vans, they are leather style plimpsoles, my mum wasn't too pleased at all, they then sent out a letter saying that we needed to change our shoes by half term, then i got sent home this week for wearing trainers to school so i didn't get my school shoes ruined, they sent me straight home.
As a student at this school, i've been in "pumps" (plimpsoles) since half way through year 7, as the walk/ride to school was ruining my school shoes. This year when i came back in september i had just spend £50 on a pair of leather Vans, they are leather style plimpsoles, my mum wasn't too pleased at all, they then sent out a letter saying that we needed to change our shoes by half term, then i got sent home this week for wearing trainers to school so i didn't get my school shoes ruined, they sent me straight home. JustJackk

8:20am Sun 6 Nov 11

IamLivid says...

As a parent at the Beacon school and my son was one of the 50 children sent home, due to having the wrong shoes on. The school has sent out letters, newsletters and text messages, as well as talking to the students in assembly warning them if the students were wearing incorrect uniform after half term they would be sent home. As for parents having to take time off work, it's there responsibility to make sure that their child has the correct school uniform on. I really do feel this is unfair article on the school.
As a parent at the Beacon school and my son was one of the 50 children sent home, due to having the wrong shoes on. The school has sent out letters, newsletters and text messages, as well as talking to the students in assembly warning them if the students were wearing incorrect uniform after half term they would be sent home. As for parents having to take time off work, it's there responsibility to make sure that their child has the correct school uniform on. I really do feel this is unfair article on the school. IamLivid

8:42am Sun 6 Nov 11

Hottotty says...

So the parents are bad parents then who flout the rules to suit them !!! My god how wrong can some people be . This isn't about being a good or bad parent this is about a child's education taking second place to there footwear and when I say footwear I mean WRONG material nothing more nothing less ! Theses children used to be put in plimsols if they wore trainers to school THAT was acceptable . Now those same plimsolls have become a fashion item the school feels they are not appropriate !!!!! Inner London poor schools in deprived areas and they do still exhist put and would do anything to keep kids in school learning a good education ! Theses beacon children have not broken rules but the school has declined to educate them because of the material of there shoes . Yet we are charged to take our kids out of school early yet they can stop educating them when it suits them , now who's bending the rules !!!!!!!!
So the parents are bad parents then who flout the rules to suit them !!! My god how wrong can some people be . This isn't about being a good or bad parent this is about a child's education taking second place to there footwear and when I say footwear I mean WRONG material nothing more nothing less ! Theses children used to be put in plimsols if they wore trainers to school THAT was acceptable . Now those same plimsolls have become a fashion item the school feels they are not appropriate !!!!! Inner London poor schools in deprived areas and they do still exhist put and would do anything to keep kids in school learning a good education ! Theses beacon children have not broken rules but the school has declined to educate them because of the material of there shoes . Yet we are charged to take our kids out of school early yet they can stop educating them when it suits them , now who's bending the rules !!!!!!!! Hottotty

7:15pm Mon 14 Nov 11

Thingsgetsilly says...

For all these parents who defend the uniform policy, jolly hockey sticks to you! However can we spare a thought for a minute about what school is all about? What are we trying to achieve? It's about learning and development not about segregation and singling children out because they have the wrong material of shoes. My son who is 15 and attends the Beacon School has been told to change his shoes but I fail to see why. They are leather and they have no brand logo or markings on them but they are the wrong style, as he was told. My daughter who attends the Beacon School has today been told to change her skirt as she is not allowed to wear a skirt that has pleats in it. Tell me where is the common sense in that? Also spare a thought for families with say four or five children who have to find money for uniforms and shoes for all the children. It costs me around £500 in school uniforms for all my children and I am a struggling student nurse. I go to SWOTS to buy the uniform and I comply as far as I am aware but the wrong style of shoes and a pleat in a skirt? It's great if you can afford it but if the Beacon want to impose such ridiculous policies then they should ensure they have some sort of school fund that can assess parents to see if they can actually afford the uniform and if not offer some sort of assistance. Then and only then when they assess each family and they know they either have the funds to pay for all items of the uniform or they offer assistance to get the full uniform can they send pupils home for not complying. The country is in an economy and not all residents of Surrey are rich, there are wide variations in wealth even in this part of the country. Those who are campaigning and backing the Beacon with this stupid policy should congratulate themselves for being in a fortunate enough position to be able to afford it but you should also be thinking about the less fortunate among us who are struggling to make ends meet and can't afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes that the Beacon want to comply with the policy. As long as the children are in school uniform and are clean with black leather shoes then why does it really matter what style the shoes are ? Wake up people and spend your energy campaigning for something that may well make a difference to people's lives and spend less time being so selfish that you forget there is a wide range of families with a variety of incomes living in this area and they don't get any assistance to buy a uniform.
For all these parents who defend the uniform policy, jolly hockey sticks to you! However can we spare a thought for a minute about what school is all about? What are we trying to achieve? It's about learning and development not about segregation and singling children out because they have the wrong material of shoes. My son who is 15 and attends the Beacon School has been told to change his shoes but I fail to see why. They are leather and they have no brand logo or markings on them but they are the wrong style, as he was told. My daughter who attends the Beacon School has today been told to change her skirt as she is not allowed to wear a skirt that has pleats in it. Tell me where is the common sense in that? Also spare a thought for families with say four or five children who have to find money for uniforms and shoes for all the children. It costs me around £500 in school uniforms for all my children and I am a struggling student nurse. I go to SWOTS to buy the uniform and I comply as far as I am aware but the wrong style of shoes and a pleat in a skirt? It's great if you can afford it but if the Beacon want to impose such ridiculous policies then they should ensure they have some sort of school fund that can assess parents to see if they can actually afford the uniform and if not offer some sort of assistance. Then and only then when they assess each family and they know they either have the funds to pay for all items of the uniform or they offer assistance to get the full uniform can they send pupils home for not complying. The country is in an economy and not all residents of Surrey are rich, there are wide variations in wealth even in this part of the country. Those who are campaigning and backing the Beacon with this stupid policy should congratulate themselves for being in a fortunate enough position to be able to afford it but you should also be thinking about the less fortunate among us who are struggling to make ends meet and can't afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes that the Beacon want to comply with the policy. As long as the children are in school uniform and are clean with black leather shoes then why does it really matter what style the shoes are ? Wake up people and spend your energy campaigning for something that may well make a difference to people's lives and spend less time being so selfish that you forget there is a wide range of families with a variety of incomes living in this area and they don't get any assistance to buy a uniform. Thingsgetsilly

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