More than 50 children put into detention for wearing the wrong trousers

After furious parents complained, the school apologised

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The Independent Online

A school has apologised after it put more than 50 children into detention for wearing the wrong trousers.

Pupils at Heaton Manor School in Newcastle upon Tyne were put into isolation after they broke what they claimed were confusing uniform rules.

Students were allegedly made to sit in small rooms from 8.30am until 3pm without any proper school work or contact with teachers.

Parent Christine Reid said that her daughter Antonia was "looking forward to her first day back" but when she walked through the school gates, she was put into detention.

“She was in that room for eight hours yesterday and she was deeply distressed. I'd understand if she'd behaved badly, but this is punishment for a pair of trousers the teachers don't like,” Reid told the Newcastle Chronicle.

"She's in Year 11 and she's studying for her GCSEs. She's lost two days' education because of this ridiculous rule and I'm absolutely livid."

Heaton Manor headteacher Lynne Ackland said the institution had tightened their uniform rules, and had discussed the changes with parents, pupils and school governors. The changes should not have been a shock, she argued.

However, she said the school not predict that pupils would wear so many different trouser styles.

 She admitted they had been overzealous and inconsistent and would apologise to the pupils and their parents.

"The school has been consulting for a long time about plans to tighten up our uniform rules," she said.

"This included a request to parents for 'tailored' black trousers as opposed to very tight-fitting trousers, leggings, 'jeggings' or cargo pants.

"However, we had not anticipated the many different styles we would be confronted with on the first day of term and we have clearly been overzealous and inconsistent in our response to this," she said.

She added: "We have apologised and will apologise again to the pupils we wrongly put into detention and to their parents. This was a sincere effort to standardise our uniforms and there has been great support from the school community.

"We will clearly need to be much more specific with people in future about what the standard uniform should look like."

Addtional reporting by PA