Fifty pupils sent home from school in Newark for breaching uniform rules

September 8, 2016 | by | 0 Comments
Outside Hartsdown Academy, Kent, today.

Outside Hartsdown Academy, Kent, today.

Parents have blasted a headteacher after FIFTY pupils were sent home from a school in the first week of term for breaching strict uniform rules.

Dozens of youngsters were kept in isolation or told to leave for a range of infringements at Magnus Church of England Academy in Newark-on-Trent, Notts.

Some pupils were told their trousers were too tight while other girls were told their skirts were too short.

Teachers also ruled that haircuts were too short and told children off for having the wrong shoes or for wearing earrings.

One angry mum even revealed her autistic son was left in floods of tears – because he was booted out of classes as his trousers were too LONG.

The school claimed around 20 pupils were kept in isolation all day but parents said the overall number kept on their own or sent home was closer to 50.

Children were inspected at the school gates by teachers when they arrived on Monday (5/9) and Tuesday (6/9).

If their clothing was deemed not to meet the uniform policy set out at the end of last term, they were sent home or placed in isolation until they could be collected.

Some children were able to return if they could get the correct uniform while others missed a day of school and the opportunity to be part of their year group photographs.

Today furious mums and dads slammed headteacher Anna Martin and accused the school of being “petty” and “unreasonable.”

Andrew Armitage, 54, said his son-in-law’s daughter, Tiffany Volney, 15, was placed in isolation, despite wearing the same trousers as she had last term.

He added: “They were perfectly acceptable then.

“All of a sudden, they are too tight. They are tight because of her body shape.

“I was told by a teacher that if she went in the same trousers the following day she would be expelled.

“It’s outrageous and shameful.”

Year 8 pupil Liam Hardy was also put into isolation for having a part grade one shaved haircut.

His mum Ellie Willis, 34, who collected her son from the school, said: “I took him to have his hair cut a day before school restarted so he could look smart but the teachers have said it is too short.

“It is disgusting. We are not living in the 1950s. The children should be smart in their uniform but this is just hair.

“It is shocking that he has had to miss his first day back.”

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Mum-of-two Gemma Gosling, 36, whose 12-year-old son, Aaron, has autism, said the Yeara 8 pupil was left in tears after being told his £8 Asda trousers were too long.

She added: “I am annoyed because Aaron is already quite anxious.

“He wasn’t put in isolation or sent him but it was the manner they spoke to him.

“A teacher just walked up to him and said his trousers are too long and if he came to school in them the next day he would be sent home.

“He rang when he left the school premises and was crying. He said the teacher had really shouted at him.

“We bought three pairs of the trousers from Asda and they fitted on the waist but were just a bit too long on the leg so I turned them up myself.

“I do not have a problem with the uniform policy.

“We try to stick to it as closely as possible but when they come back about the length of trousers it is just petty.

“Some of his friends have been sent home because of their hair being too short, it is just nitpicking really.”

Years 7 and 11 started their new term on Monday while Years 8, 9 and 10 returned on Tuesday this week.

The school’s new principal, Anna Martin, defended the crackdown and said the uniform inspection was part of continuing efforts to raise school standards.

She added: “We at Magnus Church of England Academy have high expectations and ambitions for our students and are grateful for the support of both students and their parents in regard to the school’s uniform policy, which we reissued to parents at the end of the last academic year.

“Our uniform policy is very much in line with that of any aspirational secondary school and where problems do arise we are always happy to meet and speak to parents about how we can resolve the issue.

“We do believe, however, that the uniform is an important part of school life, and that those high standards provide a discipline that will give students the best start in life, and ease them into the competitive world of work after they leave education.

“Our academy has been on a journey of improvement for a number of years, demonstrated by the rising results for the last two years.

“As the new principal I intend to continue that journey.

“Upholding these standards will provide the best environment for students to excel and we are delighted that the majority are embracing those aspirations.”

The school has a strict uniform code and says it will “strive to maintain high standards of uniform at Magnus”.

Girls in Years 7-11 are banned from wearing make-up or nail varnish that is not natural in colour while haircuts are not allowed to be shaved shorter than grade two.

Pupils must wear plain black polishable shoes with no more than a one-inch heel height and footwear with buckles, logos or tags are banned.

Coats have to be plain or dark in colour and cannot be worn around the academy during the school day with leather and denim jackets also banned.

Watches are allowed but all other items of jewellery, including earrings and piercings, are forbidden under the uniform code.

* Magnus Church of England Academy was formed from the amalgamation of two schools in 1531 after a donation from King Henry VIII’s chaplain Thomas Magnus.

It was previously known as Magnus Church of England School but converted to academy status in February 2014.

The secondary school and sixth form caters for boys and girls aged between 11 and 18 and had 991 pupils on the school roll at the last Ofsted inspection in November 2012 when it was rated as “requires improvement”.

New headteacher Anna Martin took over from Gil Barker this summer and said she wanting to bring “first-class education to Newark”.

Notable former pupils include Dusty Hare MBE, who played rugby for England, and Major Gonville Bromhead, won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879.

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