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Anger at Flegg High School uniform policy

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 December 2011 | UPDATED: 12:47 15 December 2011

Flegg High School, Martham.

Flegg High School, Martham.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

PARENTS have reacted angrily to a school uniform policy which advises calling staff before buying clothes or changing their child’s hairstyle.

Flegg High School says it introduced the policy to raise standards and prepare its young people for the world of work.

But parents say the policy, which details what bags and coats a child should wear and what time of the year they can get piercings done, has overstepped the mark.

Parent Sue Little, who recently received a letter about the policy, said: “My husband and I are so angry that the rules - which I know every school needs - have turned into a dictatorship.

“The school seems to be wanting to take away our children’s identity and become more of a business than a school.

“We understand that there needs to be a uniform and certain guidelines as to clothing because if not some students go overboard on experimental dress and hair types.

“But it does seem that parents are being treated as if we have no common sense.”

If pupils do not comply with the policy they can have items confiscated, be punished by isolation in the school’s TATE unit or even be sent home to correct their uniform and return to school.

And teachers say they can change the policy, and parents must call them to be sure their child will be allowed into school.

The rules read: “We reserve the right to respond to changes in fashion and make changes to the above policy as necessary.

“Any parent or carer who is unclear about our requirements must, in their own interests, contact the school before making a clothing purchase or hairstyle choice.”

But the school’s head teacher Russell Boulton says the policy is not new and letters sent out at the end of November were reminders.

He insisted the policy is not too draconian, and says people have remarked on how smart Flegg High School students look.

“We do expect students to be appropriately dressed for school and I’m very proud of our students because they are a group of smartly dressed young people,” said Mr Boulton. “In fact visitors and people in the wider community always comment on how smart they look so we are determined not to rest on our laurels but continue to strive to be the best we can.”

He added the rule for any piercings to be carried out at the beginning of the summer holiday is to allow them time to heal before pupils return to school when they may only wear one small stud earring in one or both ears.

And he says students have been supportive of the policy.

“The recent letter home to parents came about after a discussion between the head boy and girl, and their deputies, in which there was widespread consensus that we could all do a bit more to maintain our high standards of dress,” he said. “I’m pleased that the majority of our students both understand and abide by our school uniform policy, and I ask every parent to support our students and our school.”

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