‘Up to 70’ pupils sent home over uniforms as some don’t wear ‘polishable’ shoes

Angry parents have said "up to 70" children were sent home from their school for not wearing the correct school uniform.

Dozens of unhappy parents gathered at the school gates to collect their children on Monday, with one mum saying her son was turned away from Broadlands Academy in Keynsham, Somerset, for wearing shoes which were "not polishable".

Another boy was sent home for not wearing a blazer his mother says has been ordered, but has not yet arrived, BristolLive reports.

In response, the academy's new head teacher, Louise Hamilton, said a "high standard" of uniform had been introduced to benefit pupils' experience at the school.

One of the parents, Emily Evans, from Keynsham, said she was unhappy after her son called her to pick him up because his school shoes were "not polishable".

The 33-year-old hairdresser, whose son is dyslexic, said the length of time away from school had already greatly impacted his education.

She said: “I have forked out on private tutoring throughout, despite not being able to work due to Covid.

“I lost more money today due to being called into the school, to which I’m very upset as I’ve lost a lot already.”

According to the school, a number of students had incorrect uniforms and were asked to attend the academy’s Compass Centre to discuss why they were not wearing the correct uniform.

They said no students were excluded on account of their uniform and will be welcomed back to school on Tuesday (August 8).

Head teacher Ms Hamilton said: “As the new head teacher at Broadlands Academy, I am determined to create the climate for excellence that our students deserve.

"Young people across the country have missed out on months of education and, as a school, we have made a pledge to our students and their parents that we will create disruption-free learning in all our classrooms, so that our students can focus fully and benefit from the bespoke curriculum that we have put in place to fill any gaps in learning that have arisen during the pandemic.

“We will be working closely with families to ensure that our high expectations are met, we have made every effort to reach out with numerous texts, emails, post and website updates over the summer period.

"Many parents have been in touch to say how much they appreciate our focus on high standards in uniform, attendance, behaviour and effort, and are looking forward to the benefits this will bring to their children’s experience of Broadlands.

“I am very much looking forward to beginning a new chapter at Broadlands, where our unique family feel and pastoral care is combined with a culture of high expectations, effort and respect.”

Ms Evans said there were more than 50 angry parents waiting outside the school gates to collect their children.

“There were around 50 to 70 children from all year groups sent home today (August 7),” she said.

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Ms Evans says she is disgusted by the school's uniform policy and is furious about the school's decision to isolate children if their uniform is not satisfactory.

She said: “They want them to return to school tomorrow to spend the whole day in isolation until I buy another pair of shoes, which is not happening.

“After being off work for so long I cannot afford another pair and I can’t even return the ones I bought as they have already been worn.

“Isolation is a form of punishment. They will be in the same room as other students that aren't in their bubble which, to me, is not sticking by the social distancing rules.”

Joanne Thompson, aged 39, said she received a call to collect her children because they did not have the correct uniform.

She said: “My son was pulled for not having a blazer, to which they are aware that it has been ordered and we are still waiting for delivery.

"And my daughter was told that her school footwear was not acceptable.”

The restaurant duty manager said the situation was ‘ridiculous'.

She said: “We’ve been in a global pandemic and most people have been out of work, lost jobs or been furloughed.”

“I’m more concerned about my children’s education than the footwear.”

Michelle Shoemark said she received a text from her daughter saying she was being sent home for wearing the same shoes she wore the last academic year.

She said: “ I didn't even get a phone call from the school to say she was being sent home – they are Kickers, I thought these would be acceptable as when I brought them it said shoes and not trainers."

The 37-year-old said she is unhappy about her daughter being put into a room with pupils of different school years and not her own bubble, and she was upset that her son was told off for not having the correct ruler size.

She said: “Now my daughter is being made to go into school tomorrow and having to catch up on the work that she has missed out on today, which I am not happy about, as this wasn't her fault and I don't think it's fair.”

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