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Richard Harrington MP and James Clappison MP write to Bushey Meads head over school uniform row
Two MPs have intervened after being contacted by a "large number" of constituents complaining about "ridiculous" changes in the school uniform.
From the start of this academic year, Bushey Meads academy introduced new regulation trousers and skirts for its students, which are embroidered with BMS just under the waistband - and cost £22.50.
Richard Harrington MP sent a joint letter to the Headmaster, Keith Douglas, on Wednesday along with James Clappison MP.
The letter said: "The importance of uniform, and of adhering to the school’s rules, we fully understand and support.
"We also fully appreciate that where there are serious breaches of the uniform policy, this must be dealt with accordingly and appropriately.
"However, a problem has arisen where families, who are experiencing genuine hardship, particularly if they have more than one child at Bushey Meads, are finding it impossible to finance the purchase of the approved uniform, particularly the trousers.
"Whilst we understand that as an academy Bushey Meads is able to set its own policy with regard to school uniform, would it be possible for you to look at some form of compromise regarding the purchase of the uniform for those experiencing real hardship?"
The uniform changes have caused controversy among parents; with one mother taking drastic action by pulling her two sons out of school.
Claire Lish said: "Pulling my children out of the school is not my finest moment, but for the sake of a pair of trousers that don’t fit, I think my children should be allowed to sit in the classroom and be educated with their peers while wearing perfectly smart Marks & Spencers trousers.
"Mr Douglas forced my hand. There is nothing I would like more than to have my children in school but this behaviour needs to be stood up to.
"I met with Mr Douglas in the hope of finding a way forward. When I informed Mr Douglas that I would have to withdraw my children until a suitable compromise had been reached (I will not have them in isolation), he threatened to take legal action against me."
However, an agreement was reached and Mrs Lish’s sons are back in school - but not in the correct trousers.
A spokesperson at the school said: "The Governing Body believes that school uniform is an essential part of establishing the school ethos. As such, a uniform by definition is to be standard and worn properly.
"This summer changes were made to skirts and trousers following consultation. Any parents or carers who have required financial assistance have been able to apply for this through the school. There are two suppliers of uniform to the school who have stated all placed orders have been supplied. "If there are breeches of school uniform rules sanctions will be applied appropriately. Such sanctions are not a new policy and have always formed part of the school’s policies and procedures."
Some parents contacted the Minister of State for Schools, Rt Hon David Laws MP, about the situation. He told them he is concerned about the isolation.
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