EDUCATION secretary Michael Gove has backed schools that demand uniform and strict discipline.

The comments came the week after it was revealed that one Bournemouth school had angered many parents by taking a “zero tolerance” line on footwear that did not comply with policy.

The stance taken at Bishop of Winchester Academy meant children were taken out of lessons for not wearing the right shoes, even though some were from High Street school ranges.

Mr Gove, praising the raft of new academy schools, claimed parents wanted strict uniforms and strict discipline. He claimed “wild and wacky theorems” had “distracted some of our schools from delivering on the basics over the last 20 years”.

The Bishop of Winchester uniform row attracted dozens of comments on the Daily Echo website.

Roginthesouth, of Bournemouth, said: “The school is trying to improve standards and discipline, and that will require the 100 per cent support of pupils and parents.”

Bex1984 of Poole said: “Schools need to maintain as high standards as possible so when these kids leave into adulthood they go to job interviews in suits, they wear smart shoes, they have a good attitude.”

Morrigan wrote: “I support the school on this 100 per cent. Children are at school to learn and not to make a fashion statement.”

Fossilmole of Wimborne said: “If the school has uniform then the parents knew this from day one of their child attending.”

But Bezza1969, West Moors, said: “The school would have been perhaps wiser to have taken a more pragmatic approach here and perhaps just issued a bulletin to those who bought black Clarks school shoes from the Clarks Catalogue, clarifying which particular black school shoes from the Clarks school range will not be appropriate next time they come to change their shoes.”

And Boscombewizard, of Boscombe, said: “Funny how so many other European countries manage to educate their children and young people without making them wear school uniform. Very English to want to enforce obedience and conformity.

“When they have non uniform days I guess the pupils don’t learn anything?”

Nell, of Bournemouth, said: “I have two children who go to this school and as my daughter is fussy with the comfort of shoes I purposely buy the same ones every time, I therefore was stunned to find out that according to the school she is wearing incorrect trousers and shoes.”

Dobrojoe, of Christchurch, said: “School uniforms are an unnecessary waste of money and resources.

“They do absolutely nothing to improve education and are more to do with vanity than anything else.”