A parent has criticised her daughter’s school uniform policy after she was sent home from Eastbourne Academy for wearing the wrong trousers.
Sharon Ward said her 14-year-old daughter Rosie was one of dozens of pupils that returned to school after the half-term break on Monday and told to change her trousers.
But principal Keith Pailthorpe defended the school uniform policy, stating it had always been black tailored school trousers and that parents had been given six week’s notice to make sure their children no longer wore skinny trousers to school.
But Miss Ward said she thought the decision was ‘ridiculous’ adding, “Why does it matter what trousers she has on, it doesn’t affect her education.
“I had gone to an appointment at the hospital and had a voicemail from the school to say she was being sent home because her trousers were not suitable for school.
“They said they had sent a newsletter out but I never received it. I think it’s ridiculous, the trousers she wears won’t affect her education.
“It’s ridiculous missing out on her education for a pair of trousers.”
She said that the trousers her daughter wore had cost £12.50 and that the ones she had seen in a shop that were tailored were more expensive, adding, “Not everyone can afford to pay £16 for trousers.”
In response Mr Pailthorpe said, “Gradually as the fashion has changed in some of the shops the trousers were getting skinnier and skinnier.
“It was getting to the point where at the beginning of the school year (September) these trousers were getting more like leggings.
“We informed individual students these were not acceptable and sent a letter out to the parents.”
Mr Pailthorpe said the newsletter had images which clearly showed which trousers were acceptable.
He added that follow up assemblies were held at school about the issue.
Referring to the incident on Monday he said, “What happened this morning is that there was around 30 students that had the wrong trousers on.
“Most of them went home and changed, in terms of pupils that did not return to school that was a very small number.
“We are not the only school to do this. We do not want our girls wearing something that is not appropriate for school, we want them to feel safe coming back and forth to school.
“We don’t have a school supplier because that would be more expensive.
“We’re asking parents to use their common sense and not spend a lot more money.”