Schools refuse to let children take off their blazers during heatwave because of strict uniform policy

'Clearly, what they look like is more important than their education'

Chloe Farand
Wednesday 21 June 2017 19:16 BST
(Getty Images)

Schools have been criticised after they allegedly sent pupils home for refusing to wear they blazers on the hottest day of the year.

Kelly Adenrele said she sent her children Lucien, 15, Newton, 15, Eylarna, 13 and Tadyius, 12, to Bishop of Winchester Academy in Bournemouth without their jackets because of the heat.

Bur shortly after they arrived she said she received a phone call to say they were on their way home.

"I was told it’s school policy that they have to wear their blazers on the way to and from school and in the school itself," she told the Bournemouth Echo.

“Clearly, what they look like is more important than their education.”

A spokeswoman from The Bishop of Winchester Academy, which describes itself as promoting Christian ethos and values on its website, refused to comment to The Independent.

But the school’s long and strict uniform statement states anyone arriving at the Academy in incomplete uniform will be sent home to get changed and that non-uniform items are not allowed.

It says that blazers should be worn by all students at all time and details the hairstyle accepted by the school and the make-up and jewellery, including rings and earrings, tolerated.

“At The Bishop of Winchester Academy we want our students to take pride in their appearance and hold a collective identity, and therefore Sponsors feel maintaining standards of school uniform will be an important strategy in raising aspirations and standards,” it adds.

Summer heatwave: Britain bakes as temperatures soar over 30 degrees

Three pupils were also sent home on “fixed term exclusions” from Kingswood Academy in Kingston Upon Hull for “rude and defiant behaviour”.

But Leanne Monkman told the Hull Daily Mail that she believed her son Reece Wolfe, 12, was excluded because he refused to wear his blazer.

Ms Monkman said her son, who attends the school part time, nearly fainted in the morning in his school uniform because of the heat and she asked the school reception if he could not wear his blazer. The mum said she was told it would be okay as long as he carried it on his arm.

But within five minutes of leaving the school, Ms Monkman said she received a call saying Reece had been expelled. A further two students were also reportedly expelled that day for refusing to wear their blazers.

Principal Dale Jackson told the The Independent that no students were sent home as a direct result of not wearing their blazer.

He said: “Kingswood Academy is a modern building with well ventilated corridors and open spaces including air conditioning. With regards to our policy students must wear their blazers when moving around the Academy through the cool and well ventilated corridors and open spaces.

“Students are welcome to take off their blazers in lessons, when sat down eating at break and lunch times and when outside.

“Three students, were however, sent home on 'fixed term exclusions' due to rude and defiant behaviour. At Kingswood Academy we have the highest expectations, this type of behaviour is simply not tolerated. On this day, aside from these three students, all other 640+ students quite happily got on with their learning without issue.”

One mother decided not to send her children to the Glenmoor and Winton Academies in Bournemouth because of the school’s blazer policy.

Sabrina Fitzsimons said her son Jack, 14, and daughter Caitlin, 15, stayed at home after she was told by the school reception pupils were expected to wear their jackets.

Teacher would decide if students could take them off in class, according to to the Bournemouth Echo.

Ms Fitzsimons said her daughter Caitlin had been complaining of headaches and nausea because of the heat.

But Principal Ben Antell told the Independent: “Children at this school do not have to wear their blazer and this school has sent no-one home for not wearing a blazer. We take a reasonable view on this and pupils are not obliged to wear their blazer in lessons, breaks and lunchtime.”

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