Thursday, September 27, 2012

School which banned skirts to avoid 'sexualisation' of pupils sends girls home for wearing trousers that are 'too tight'

A school that caused uproar by banning skirts as part of their uniform has sparked further controversy after girls were sent home because their trousers were considered too tight. Moulton School and Science College, in Northampton, introduced strict new uniform rules at the start of September to 'avoid the sexualisation' of pupils. Skirts were banned after schoolgirls repeatedly wore them above the knee. But now headmaster Trevor Jones has caused further upset with his crackdown on skinny-fit trousers, or those with visible studs, labels, zips, non-black stitching or metal buttons The head has ordered staff to send pupils home or teach them in isolation if they turn up in the legwear, which he claims would be 'more at home in a nightclub'. The school's website also states that anyone not wearing the correct uniform will be offered second-hand clothing if available. Angry parents have described the policy as 'over-the-top' and have even likened conditions at the school to a prisoner of war camp. Zelda Allen, 45, whose daughter Tammi, 13, was placed in isolation for the day for wearing skinny-fit trousers, said: 'It is like Colditz. It is an extremely strict punishment for not wearing the right trousers. 'I think the school is taking it too far, it’s way over the top. 'The girls are going to rebel if they keep doing this. They are much happier at school if they are more comfortable with what they are wearing. Parents are also concerned that the punishments are a threat to their children's safety. Rebecca Barford, 33, whose 14-year-old daughter was also taught in isolation, added: 'Being taught on her own means my daughter misses her bus home as isolation ends after the usual end time of school. 'As I cannot collect my daughter this is a great concern for me 'I feel it is not safe for her to make her own way home and I also think that this is a ridiculous punishment for simply not having trousers that make her feel very self conscious and unhappy just because the headteacher of the school wishes girls to dress like boys.' Headteacher Trevor Jones said students in 'skinny fit' trousers would be made to work in isolation until their parents could pick them up from school. He said: 'When an issue becomes prolonged, either because the student deliberately wears incorrect uniform, despite possessing the correct uniform, or because the student, with the parent’s agreement and despite previous attempts to resolve the issue, refuses to purchase and wear the correct uniform, then we will contact the parent and ask them to collect their child and return them correctly dressed.' 'Some of the clothes would be more appropriate in a nightclub than in a classroom. 'I think there is massive pressure with girls and image. 'School should be a place where they can come and not have to worry about that for a few hours and instead concentrate on their learning. 'I have had complaints from a number of parents and some girls are feeling aggrieved but we think this will make the school a safer place.' Moulton School and Science College is for boys and girls aged 11 to 18 and has around 1,300 pupils. The school's website describes school uniform as playing 'a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone. 'It can instil pride, support positive behaviour and discipline, encourage identity with the school ethos and protect children from social pressures to dress in a particular way.'

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