School irons out uniform dispute

A Dunstable school claims to have successfully ironed out a dispute with parents over its new uniform policy.

Manshead School found itself embroiled in a disagreement last week after complaints of allegedly minor infringements of the new uniform rules.

But yesterday, the school claimed it had successfully quelled the dispute .

Headteacher Jim Parker said: “We are delighted with the very positive response that we have had from our community in helping the school to promote high standards of uniform.

“On the first few days of the term a small minority of students were not adhering to our uniform policy but by the end of the week 99% of students were in complete compliance.”

After the start of term last Monday, a number of pupils were found to be in breach of the school’s new uniform policy and were chastised.

Some pupils complained on social media, accusing the school of being too strict.

One female pupil said: “My skirt was about an inch above my knee, it did not look unprofessional at all. I was told to pull it down. The elastic part at the top, which should be around your waste was pulled down to my hips.

“I looked ridiculous ... The reason for our skirts having to be all the way down is because apparently it’s ‘unfair on male teachers’.”

The pupil alleged that the latter point had been told to her by another teacher. Her account provoked a barrage of criticism against the school, which maintains the new policy is a success although it is contuing to address a “handful” of uniform issues.

Mr Parker added: “The vast majority of parents are very happy that we have taken a firmer line on uniform standards.

“Our students are looking very smart indeed and have returned to school for the new term in a very positive manner. The students understand that school is a formal place of learning and that by wearing a high standard of uniform it helps to set high standards in all aspects of school life.

“Our focus on school uniform is one small part of our strategy to continue to improve standards at Manshead School and we are confident that our current students will surpass the record GCSE results that were achieved this year.”