School uniform row headteacher: ‘It’s to prepare children for the world of work’

Allie Denholm
Allie Denholm

The school’s uniform policy is to prepare children for the world of work, says the new headteacher.

Allie Denholm took on the new role as head of South Shields Community School last week.

As part of her new role she wanted to ‘tighten up’ the expectation of the school’s uniform, causing a furore with her rules on tight trousers.

She said: “We want our pupils to be striving for excellence in all they do.

“While giving them an education we also want to be preparing them for the workplace and the outside world.

“We want pupils to be presenting themselves well to their future employers and wearing the correct uniform is a way they can work towards this.”

Ms Denholm says no changes have been made to the uniform, but letters were sent out at the end of the last school year outlining what’s expected of pupils.

Trousers must be black and tailored with at least a 14cm flare and must not cling to the leg.

While skirts must be pleated and knee length, no micro or mini skirts are allowed.

She said: “We would never change the uniform policy, not without a consultation.

“I just wanted to tighten up expectation of the uniform.

“We are aware that each family has different circumstances so we purposefully went out and bought new uniform for those children who might not be able to meet our expectations.”

Ms Denholm said that some children were placed in isolation on Wednesday, if their uniform wasn’t correct.

She said: “Why should the children who are coming to school correctly dressed see others, who aren’t, still walking around it’s not fair.

“Only a very small minority were involved and already we have moved on with this.”

She added: “The staff have all returned to start the new school year full of energy with the success of the children their main priorities.”

The school’s uniform guide:

• Black sweater with school logo in relevant college colour

• White polo shirt with school logo in relevant college colour

• Plain black tailored trousers (with at least a 14cm flare and do not cling to the leg)

• Black cardigan in boys or girls with school logo in relevant college colour

• Plain black pleated skirts – knee length (micro/mini skirts are not acceptable) (No stretchy/jersey material and NO leggings)

School PE kit

GIRLS :

• Lilac polo shirt with school logo -

• Navy jogging bottoms without logo is acceptable but if with a logo this should be in college colours

• Navy shorts

• Navy hoodie with school logo in college colours

• Navy rain jacket (optional)

BOYS:

• Black polo shirt with logo in college colours

• Black tracksuit bottoms without logo is acceptable, but if with a logo this should be in college colours

• Black shorts

• Green football socks

• Black rugby shirt with school logo in college colours

• Black hoodie with logo in college colours (optional)

FOOTWEAR:

• 100% black footwear (no boots)

• Trainers with any logos or colour are not permitted