Ilana Bradley, 12, pictured with her little sister Lexie on the first day of school last week, had a difficult first day after teachers decided her skirt was two inches too short
A mother-of-two is furious after her 12-year-old daughter became the latest pupil hit by what parents feel are overzealous school uniform rules.
The start of the school year has led to disputes around the country over what children should and shouldn’t be allowed to wear in class.
Debbie Bradley, in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, is one of those who feels hard done by after her daughter Ilana was threatened with so-called ‘isolation’ over the length of her skirt.
Ilana was not allowed in lessons at Minsthorpe Community College for the first hour last Monday, because her skirt was two inches above the knee and hence deemed two short.
Her mother went into the school after hearing her daughter had fallen foul of a rule which dictates skirts should be ‘straight and close to the knee in length’.
She says the skirt is the only one she could find to fit her daughter’s ‘skinny’ waist and they have had to try on 23 pairs of trousers as they search for an alternative.
Her mother Debbie says the rules are overly officious and impact on children’s education
Ms Bradley said: ‘She’d been in school for one hour. She’s 5’6ish, 12-years-old and has the waist of a seven-year-old.
‘I went to school to pick her up, because if she’s being put into isolation, she may as well come home.
‘When I asked if the length of her skirt directly affects her education and ability to learn, I was told “yes”.
‘How does the length of her skirt directly affect her receiving an education, and/or her ability to learn?’
Mrs Bradley says she had struggled to find skirts or trousers which correctly fit her ‘skinny’ daughter
Ilana’s mother, who is a personal development coach, continued: ‘I don’t have a problem with school uniform policies.
‘It’s what these policies are subconsciously teaching our children. It’s social conditioning, it’s a group of people looking at someone else and discriminating and persecuting them.’
The school has yet to comment on the row.
However, its website states: ‘Students must wear the correct uniform to attend mainstream lessons. Students who refuse to wear the correct uniform, will work in our Specialist Support area.’
The school says of uniform: ‘A uniform enables the development of friendships across the college without prejudice. [It] saves money and enables families to budget accurately.
‘Students always look presentable, are comfortable, and have increased confidence because they know they aren’t being judged by clothing and labels.
‘It gives students a sense of identity and belonging and engages pride in the college in the same way that a colours do.
‘It prepares students to dress in a “fit for purpose” manner, eg. a tradesperson wearing appropriate overalls or a lawyer wearing a smart suit.’
Minsthorpe Community College says pupils whose uniform does not meet the rule have to work in its ‘specialist support area’