School sends more pupils home in uniform crackdown


More pupils have been turned away from classes in a headteacher's crackdown on students who flout uniform rules.

An undisclosed number of children were denied entry to Hartsdown Academy in Margate, Kent, for apparently wearing the wrong clothes.

One parent, named only as Dave, told BBC Radio Kent that his daughter was sent home on Wednesday for having "inappropriate" shoes.

It was the second consecutive day that students had been turned away from lessons for breaching the uniform policy of the school under new head Matthew Tate.

On Tuesday, at the start of the autumn term, a police community support officer, as well as officers passing the secondary school, stepped in after a "disturbance" outside the gates.

Mr Tate has defended the policy, insisting that the school has been under-performing and that enforcing uniform rules was part of a drive to raise expectations and standards.

Public opinion has been split on the issue.

Some have praised the move to enforce uniform policy, saying being strict and consistent helps to teach children rules.

But some parents have criticised the policy as over-zealous and questioned whether pupils being dressed in the same clothes helps educate them. Some have also condemned the price of the uniform.

One parent, Latasha Whiting, wrote on Facebook that her 15-year-old daughter was turned away for not wearing an appropriate school skirt.

She believed the crackdown stemmed from a headteacher intent on making an impact in his first few days in the job, adding: "Sorry, wrong kind of impact in my mind."

The school has informed parents that a supplier has all the uniform needed in stock, including blazers priced at £27, skirts at £11.95 and trousers for between £13 and 16.

One woman commented on the school's Facebook page: "Absolutely disgusting, clearly none of those in charge are in touch with reality and what it is like to choose between eating and paying £27 for a blazer."

Mr Tate has previously said he has gained overwhelming support from other parents saying it was "good to set standards".