TOUGH-talking head teacher Krista Dawkins had promised a crackdown on pupils not wearing the right uniform – and she didn’t disappoint.
As children returned to class at Crestwood College in Eastleigh yesterday, shocked parents were summoned to collect 20 youngsters who had fallen foul of the “zero tolerance” policy by wearing the wrong trousers.
Another three youngsters were kept in an internal “inclusion zone” because their trousers did not comply with uniform policy.
Children and parents had been informed by letter that “skinny” trousers and leggings would not be accepted at the school, and had been warned in advance that youngsters would be turned away if they were not wearing the right clothes.
Many mums and dads the Daily Echo spoke to were totally supportive of the hard-hitting new approach to policing the rules.
However some parents have been angered by the school’s draconian approach – and say they have been left out of pocket, having just bought new school clothes for their children.
Now the school has announced it will hold a uniform “amnesty” until Monday morning to allow parents time to buy the right trousers.
James Walker’s daughter Laura, 15, from Chandler’s Ford , was one of the pupils sent home.
He said: “They are nothing like skinny jeans – she was wearing just a normal pair of trouser s and last year they were acceptable. I’m fuming and I think it’s very dictatorial to send her home. All the parents in Eastleigh are out looking for this elusive pair of trousers and they’ve all sold out.
“We had to buy ones that are the wrong size and get them taken in and I’m now £25 out of pocket.”
Deborah Havard, 48, from Chandler’s Ford, whose daughter Rhia, 12, goes to the school said: “I think I prefer the more casual uniform from before. I think they should wear a uniform– but I prefer the casual style, mainly because I don’t have to do as much ironing.”
The school had changed its uniform for the start of term following complaints from parents that the old one did not wear well.
The new uniform consists of black blazers, burgundy jumpers, white shirts and a tie – although the change is being phased in for all but the new Year 7 intake.
But Crestwood College says that the rule on trousers was already in place.
Mrs Dawkins said: “We have taken a zero tolerance approach today. No child was sent home because of the new uniform. Children were sent home for defying existing uniform rules that have been in place for a long time.
“If you went to work at Sainsbury’s or in any establishment that has a uniform, you would not be allowed to go to work if you weren’t wearing the correct uniform.
“This isn’t unique to this school – we’re trying to set the standard at the beginning of the year. We even gave parents photographs of what were acceptable trousers.
“We are just looking for trousers that are straight leg trousers and loose fitting, which you can buy in any supermarket.
“I want to distinguish what is acceptable for the weekend and what is acceptable when they come into school to work.
“The school has a hardship fund and we have helped lots of families to buy uniform. I’m doing all I can to help families adhere to school rules.”