A headteacher has been accused of turning a school into a “military camp” by an angry parent who claimed her son was being treated like a ‘caged animal’ just for wearing Clarks shoes.
Moorside High School’s crackdown over uniforms has seen dozens of pupils placed in confinement.
The situation has got so bad at the school in Cellarhead, Werrington, that “every isolation classroom and the hall” was last week said to be full of rule-breaking children.
StokeonTrentLive report that parents are becoming fed up of the draconian punishments after teachers turned their focus on kids’ footwear.
One said her Year 8 son was told he could wear his Clarks shoes that share a resemblance to Nike Air Forces – but was told as soon as he arrived that he had broken policy.
The footwear has now been banned and the lad has been put in isolation.
The 36-year-old mum said: “They are there for an education – they are not there to be treated like caged animals.
“They are putting them in isolation rooms and not letting them mix with their peers at lunch breaks or anything. They are eating their lunch in these rooms.
“My son has been checked four times. The head says once he has found my child with this footwear on, he will be going in isolation. I said ‘over my dead body’.
“He wears Clarks school shoes. There’s been a hall full of children in isolation and then the isolation classrooms have been full too. There’s quite a lot.
“If something is not broken, don’t fix it. We’ve never looked at a Moorside pupil and thought they look really scruffy.”
Headteacher Darryn Robinson refuses to back down and said his school has always “communicated clear guidance”.
He said: “Our uniform creates a sense of identity and community for our pupils.
“These changes represent a wider part in raising standards within the school as well as continuing to create a source of pride. The uniform policy has not changed.
“The school communicated clear guidance on all aspects of the uniform and worked with parents, guardians and pupils from June last year to prepare for this September.
“Changes were made in June following consultation with parents with final adjustments made this September to avoid additional cost implications for families.
“We have worked closely with families to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. Students in school are provided with appropriate work, linked to their curriculum at all times.
“We continue to work closely with families to ensure the highest expectations and outcomes for our learners.”