Great Britain

Footwear fury: parents angry over Keighley school's implementation of uniform changes

FURY has erupted at the way a school has implemented uniform changes.

Pupils turning-up at Beckfoot Oakbank wearing ‘inappropriate’ footwear have been told to change into used shoes supplied by the school – and even put in detention – say parents.

The school has been criticised for expecting children to wear secondhand shoes at a time when strict hygiene measures around Covid-19 are in place.

One mum – whose name we’ve decided not to use to protect her child’s identity – told the Keighley News that when the uniform changes were announced, they included a stipulation that black shoes should be worn.

“Pupils were previously allowed to wear black trainers but I didn’t have any issue at all with the change,” she said. “In July, the school issued a handbook outlining the next year’s policy and it reiterated that uniform was black shoes. So I bought a pair of black leather shoes.

“When my son went for an induction day, pupils were inspected as they arrived. He and about half the year group were taken into the hall and told to remove their shoes. It was humiliating for them.

“He was given a pair of shoes on loan, which someone else had worn. The shoes given out weren’t generally the right size and children were going home with blisters.”

She says she raised the issue with the school and was told the footwear had to be dress shoes.

“There’d never been any mention of this,” she said.

“We spent good money on a decent pair of black leather shoes. Because the handbook suggests that where possible pupils should walk or cycle to school, we bought a pair that are cushioned and sturdy, so comfortable to walk in.

“After all that has gone on in recent months, shouldn’t the priority be getting the children settled back into school and resuming their education, rather than their shoes?”

Another person told us their granddaughter was turned away from lunch and sent to detention for wearing boots. “It is completely wrong to deny a child a meal and drink – in what was hot weather – for the reason they gave,” she said.

Tina Smith, headteacher at Beckfoot Oakbank, said: “We welcome contact from our parents and carers. We know issues can arise and we would encourage any parent that has concerns on uniform or any other matter to make contact with us. We will be happy to discuss it with them and find a way forward.

“We’re grateful for the support of our community for the changes being made to improve our school for all students. We will continue to keep our community informed and work together to make positive change – our relationship with them is very important to us.”

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