Parents blast Cheltenham school for "too strict" uniform standards
A CHELTENHAM schoolgirl was sent home from All Saints' Academy yesterday because her skirt was "too stretchy".
Holly-Mae Donaldson, 13, was told to go back to her Hester's Way home on the first day of term because her skirt conflicted with the academy's uniform code.
Diane Donaldson, from Lee Close, called the decision to ban her daughter from classes "appalling", and said she was disgusted by the way her daughter had been treated.
She said: "I couldn't believe it when the school called me up. How is the skirt too short, when it goes to her knees?
"They told me it was made of stretchy material, and not acceptable. I spent the entire summer holidays trying to find one to fit her, she is only so small.
"Now they've told her they would let her back in the same trousers which they said were unacceptable last year. It's really a case of double standards. I just don't understand it.
"The school really needs to concentrate more on the education, and less on the pupils' uniform.
"I think she is old enough and sensible enough to decide what she wants to wear to school."
Holly-Mae said: "I really think it's pathetic. It's just the material, and it doesn't affect my learning.
"I felt singled out by the teachers, and it's only the first day of school.
"I know other girls who have the same skirt as I do, but they haven't been told they would be put in isolation or sent home.
"I really enjoyed going to school at the start, but late last year, the teachers seem to be thinking more about uniforms."
The Hester's Way school confirmed one student was sent home for wearing a stretchy skirt and two for inappropriate colours in their hair.
According to the school's uniform policy, "obligatory" standards for girls include plain black knee-length school skirts, with no splits, pleats and not stretch fabric.
They are also allowed to wear black uniform trousers, but not too tight or loose.
Earlier this year, Year 10 pupil Ben Jordan was sent home because he was not wearing the right shoes, despite breaking his toe the day before.
Principal Peter Kingham said: "We have been very clear with our students about uniform expectations.
"We have demonstrated what is acceptable and what is not. We have had assemblies on this and written to parents.
"The academy has high standards which we are intent on maintaining.
"We have a parents' forum where issues such as this can be raised and we encourage parents to join this.
"Alongside this. we have a procedure for any complaints from parents that we encourage them to follow whenever necessary.
"Out of 1,000 students in the academy, the vast majority adhere to our policies and practises and accept them fully."
ACADEMY ON THE BEAT, P9