Zero tolerance: pupils put into "isolation" for wearing the 'wrong' uniform to school (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Zero tolerance: pupils at Magna Academy Poole put into "isolation" for wearing the 'wrong' uniform to school
9:39am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A POOLE school is taking a 'zero tolerance' approach for students who do not abide by the new uniform policy from the first day of term.
Parents have been contacting the Daily Echo this week to speak of how their children at Magna Academy Poole, had been placed into isolation on Thursday for issues with their uniform, including wearing socks instead of tights.
Other reasons families have been given include their child carrying a navy rucksack instead of a plain black bag, and for their daughter wearing a colour band in her hair instead of black.
The school, formerly known as Ashdown Technology College, say that students will not be allowed to return to lessons as normal until the uniform issues have been rectified.
Anne-Marie Lewis, whose 12-year-old daughter attends the school, said that her daughter was placed in isolation for wearing socks with a skirt.
She said: “On the most important day of the school year, my child should not be put into isolation.
“She was also told that her skirt was not the right length and her bag is not the right colour. I just don't have the money to spend on changing them.”
Fellow parent, Lisa Parry, who has an 11-year-old son at Magna Academy Poole, said that she felt putting students into isolation is 'going to extremes', adding that it is 'wrong' and 'ridiculous' on the first day of term.
She added: “We had the notice in July about what uniform my son needed, which we went out and bought, but I think that it is destructive to be taking other children out of lessons just because of their uniform.”
In a newsletter sent to all parents of students at the school, dated May 14, 2013, Richard Tutt, Principal, said that the new uniform 'will help establish a real sense of pride and identity amongst students'.
In it, he added: “We have very high expectations on how the uniform will be worn and we will adopt a zero tolerance approach to this.
“We believe that our uniform demands professionalism and ensures safety which also ensures that students are fully focused on learning as opposed to fashion when in the Academy.”
- Steve Kenning, Chief Executive of Aspirations Academies Trust, which now operates the school, said: “There is no tolerance in any of the academies, and there is no way round the Academy's uniform policy.
“We want to restrict anything which will get in the way of a child's education, and we expect parents to work with us on this.
“If a parent wants to moan about the uniform or anything else to do with the Academy, then perhaps they should consider taking their child or children elsewhere.
“If they have a problem, they should speak to the principal about it, and he will act accordingly.
“People need to comply with the school, and ultimately, it is the parents' responsibility to be sending their children to school in the correct uniform.”
- Richard Tutt, principal, said: “Magna Academy Poole believes in high standards, high aspirations and the highest expectations in every aspect of its operation. We believe that working in partnership with parents and carers is essential to ensuring the highest standards for every student and we were delighted with how exceptionally smart our new Year 7 and 8 students looked today.
“We are also very sensitive to the affordability of school uniform and therefore have provided our new blazer, jumper and tie free of charge to all students.
“Students and staff are expected to take pride in their appearance and have high levels of self-worth. A smart appearance is an increasingly important aspect of modern life as it does help a person to display an air of self-confidence and a sense of respect. The Academy aims to prepare students for a successful life and so an emphasis on taking pride in one's own appearance is an essential part of the educational process.
“The Academy has a strict uniform policy with a 'zero tolerance' approach to enforcing it which we believe helps to enhance the purposeful and successful climate of the Academy. Our Policy states that 'If students are not in full uniform they will not be able to attend lessons. They will work in the inclusion unit until the correct uniform is brought to them or they will be sent home to change.' At the same time the Academy values and recognises the diversity of cultures, religions and disabilities of its students and takes a sensitive approach when this affects dress requirements.
“The new uniform requirements and Uniform Policy have been extremely well publicised. The Uniform Policy has been on our website since April 2013 and has also been continuously and clearly communicated to new and existing parents/carers through letters and information evenings.”
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