Pupils at Ryde Academy have been disciplined for wearing the wrong uniform, sparking a row with parents at the Isle of Wight school. Picture by Laura Holme.
THE row over uniform policy at Ryde Academy continued today, with principal Dr Rory Fox maintaining a hard line.
This morning, in a talk to students who had been made to study in isolation for wearing the wrong clothes or shoes, Dr Fox defended his stance, claiming it helped to prepare people for the world of work.
Many parents have hit out at the school however, after scores of youngsters were pulled out of lessons or sent home, for what they said were minor or confusing issues regarding their uniforms.
They include children being disciplined for wearing shoes with the wrong coloured soles, skirts just one inch above the knee and others falling foul of the rules despite wearing clothes bought from one of the school’s official uniform supplier.
Addressing students today, Dr Fox said he was aware there was unhappiness, but asked students to bear with them while they dealt with something that was a problem.
"If you go to work in a bank or a supermarket, anywhere you go, people will talk about dress and one of the issues that sometimes happens is that people will say your trousers are too tight, your dress is too short or your top is too strappy or whatever. These are things that employers have to say to people in the work place," said Dr Fox, who said he had been thanked by some people for tackling the issue.
But dozens of parents have contacted the Isle of Wight County Press to complain their children have been unfairly penalised and were missing out on important lessons.
One parent, in a comment posted on a Facebook page set up by those angry about the situation, said: "I did ask this morning what the staff's dress code was as I regularly see females in high heels and with coloured hair. Was told this was also being addressed. I wonder if any of them flouting the rules were sent home or put in isolation?"
Others have raised concerns about inconsistency and safeguarding issues surrounding children being sent home without parents being notified.
*Isle of Wight Council has confirmed that since Tuesday it has received two applications requesting to move students from Ryde Academy to other schools, however no reasons were cited in the requests.
• For more on parents’ reactions and an interview with Dr Rory Fox, please see tomorrow’s Isle of Wight County Press on Friday June, 20.