Pupils “left to wander the streets” after being sent home for wearing the wrong shoes (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Parents fury as Bishop of Winchester students sent home in row over footwear
ANGRY parents had a meeting with a Bournemouth headmaster yesterday after more than a dozen pupils were sent home for breaching uniform regulations.
Students without the correct uniform were ordered to go home from the Bishop of Winchester Academy when they arrived for lessons yesterday morning.
Headmaster Paul McKeown said a total of 15 students were turned away at the gates following a ‘routine inspection’ by staff.
The majority returned to the school in correct uniform a short time later, Mr McKeown said.
Mr McKeown, who has been headmaster at the school for the past eight years, said the academy is “consistent” in dealing with students who do not arrive in correct school uniform.
He said: “Students not wearing the uniform or refusing to wear the uniform in the correct way will be sent home to change.
“We do inspections around once a week,” he added.
Mr McKeown said parents were notified if their children were sent home by text message and parents of Year 7 and 8 students sent home were telephoned before the student left the school.
He added: “We are setting the standards for this school and we are also preparing our children for the world of work.
“They are not going to go into the world of law or medicine or be leaders in industry wearing trainers or skinny trousers, they will be expected to dress smartly.”
But the crackdown prompted anger from many parents, some of who claim their children were left wandering the streets with no money for bus fares and no way of contacting their families.
Emma Lester said her daughter, Renee Carroll, 14 and in Year 10, was sent home.
She said: “She has been wearing shoes exactly like the ones she had on for nearly four years with no problems. We live in Christchurch and they didn't care how she was going to get home.
“What is more important, a pair of shoes or the welfare of a child? Renee is supposed to be doing an English exam.”
Miss Lester claims she was not made aware that her daughter had been sent home from school until she received a text from the school at 12.40pm.
Samanda Watt, whose 14-year-old daughter was ordered off the premises, said: “I came home from doing the school run and she and her friends were sitting on the pavement revising. There were also crowds of them walking along Castle Lane.”