SENIOR staff at Durrington High School have defended ‘changes’ to its uniform policy following complaints from a number of parents.
The uniform code, which was clarified for the 2014/15 school year, states that skirts should be black knee-length, ‘A’ line and only in plain material. Trousers must be straight-legged and made of plain black material only.
Lesley Hutson, 51, of Peverel Road, in Tarring, bought her daughter’s clothes in the summer holidays and said she was ‘flabbergasted’ to receive an email three days before the start of term clarifying the new policy. She said while the school did suggest where to buy suitable trousers, parents were not informed where to get the correct skirts – which her daughter preferred to wear.
“High school is a scary enough place without the added pressures of these ridiculous extreme measures,” said Ms Hutson. “It’s a total farce and I am extremely angry at the stress my daughter and myself have been put under, which I feel is totally unnecessary. I would love to know what other parents think.”
Ms Hutson said her daughter was left ‘mortified’ on her first day at the school when she was told in front of the class her skirt was unacceptable and that she must get a new one by Monday or face detention.
Sue Marooney, Durrigton High School head teacher, said parents had been provided with ‘detailed’ information regarding uniform, in the summer term.
Ms Marooney said: “We haven’t changed the uniform, we have just been clearer with the guidance. We don’t spring things like that on parents. We sent letters home and emails. There were examples of types of trousers and skirts available. All the students were spoken to. The difficulty can sometimes be the brands in shops will sell something as a practical type of uniform and it doesn’t look the same as the guidance given.
“We have got 1,440 students here. The majority have all been in the right uniform. We have been working with the local sellers, making sure they are fully stocked. The overwhelming feedback from the parents and the students is that they look the smartest they have ever looked. If a child isn’t meeting the expectations of the school and doesn’t abide by the rules we would use our normal practices.”
John Fuller, assistant head teacher, said he felt the clarification of the uniform had ‘really improved’ the students’ image and said the school was ‘really proud’ of how students were presenting themselves.