Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Wrong Trousers

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Wrong Trousers

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Lognonne Reporter

MORE than 100 humiliated children were forced into isolation for up to eight hours on their first day back at school for wearing the 'wrong trousers'.

The large number of pupils from Heaton Manor, in Newcastle, came home to their parents on Wednesday "shocked" and "distressed" after they were picked out in the school corridors by teachers who deemed their uniforms inappropriate. They were then allegedly made to sit in small rooms from 8.30am until 3pm without any proper work or interaction with teachers.

And despite a raft of complaints from parents to the school after the first day back, many of the children were subjected to the same ordeal yesterday.

Heaton Manor's headteacher Lynne Ackland said parents were aware of the tightening of uniform rules and the children's punishment should not have come as a shock.

"We have been discussing these uniform proposals for a long time," she said. "We have communicated at length with parents, pupils and school governors.

"If we haven't implemented it fairly, we are very sorry to parents and pupils but we have tried to implement the policy as fairly as possible.

"I think there is some learning to be had from yesterday. More than one or two members of staff were dealing with the uniforms and perhaps there was a lack of continuity.

"That said, we will continue to implement our uniform policy because that is what the vast majority of our stakeholders want us to do."

However, furious Christine Reid, of Benton, said two days of her 15-year-old daughter Antonia's education had been compromised and she branded the policy a "total disgrace".

Christine said: "We were sent out letters from the school to say pupils must wear black tailored trousers. In my opinion Antonia's trousers are tailored; they are not skin tight. …

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