‘Wrong shoes’ head says clampdown has had ‘positive impact’

The principal at a Hucknall school that hit the news after pupils being disciplined for wearing the “wrong shoes”, says that the episode has actually had a positive effect on both staff and students.

A small number of pupils at the school were put into isolation because the shoes they were wearing when they turned up for lessons were not deemed to be suitable and did not adhere to the uniform code.

The school said that pupils and parents had been informed about the rules well in advance.

On its website, a letter outlines what can and cannot be worn.

It specifies that “All staff and students should dress smartly and take pride in their appearance”.

Of shoes, it says: “Shoes - Plain black shoes (leather or leather effect) of a practical and safe style (not training shoes, boots, canvas shoes or heels).”

Principal Simon Jones this week told the Dispatch that the incident had actually had a positive effect on school life, despite some parents complaining.

He said that now, out of 1,150 pupils, just one did not have the correct uniform.

He claims that, since the initial problems, pupil punctuality has improved, the atmosphere is positive, and meetings with parents has been positive.

He said: “Many now understand what we are trying to do, although many never saw it as an issue.

“Pupils are now checking for themselves that they are coming into school fully-equipped for the day.”

He cited one pupil who “didn’t get it” first time but now does and understands that the school has high standards that are there to help prepare them for life after school.

Mr Jones also said that another pupil now realised what was expected of him, and was enjoying his time.

The wearing of correct uniform is an issue for many schools at this time of year, which has just seen the autumn term begin.

At the Holgate Academy, also in Hucknall, new principal Neil Holmes says that uniform is important and not just because of discipline.

He said: “Schools prepare people for the world of work and therefore self-deicipline is a good thing.

“But wearing a uniform looks smart and reflects well in the local community.”

He says that when he was a pupil at Holgate, there was a lax approach to uniform but now pupils look smart and “business-like”.
School uniform supplier Price & Buckland, which is based in Hucknall, supplies hundreds of schools acorss the UK.
Joint managing director Anthony Buckland told the Dispatch: “There are plus points and benefits. Pupils have a sense of belonging and uniforms give a school a sense of identity.
“It gives pupils a sense of purpose, and a sense of being part of a team, which hopefully leads to a increased pride.”
And he added: “It also makes it easier for parents in the mornings, without people competing on the latest fashions.”