Written by D P Whitehead
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Topics: School

Monday, 20 February 2017

image for Headteacher defends school uniform stance

A headteacher in Lancashire has defended sending pupils home from school because their skirts were not short enough, saying parents who did not like the strict uniform rules could choose to have their daughters educated elsewhere.

Girls at Failing School in Blackpool were turned away on the first day of school after the mid-term break because their skirts did not conform to a new uniform policy which stipulates that skirts, for all sixth form girls, should be tight, preferably leather, and 'really short.'

One parent contacted the local news organisation, the Blackpool Herald anonymously to complain: "It's outrageous, my daughter has been sent home from school along with about 200 other girls because their skirts are not sexy enough - it's the new headteacher's policy. Dirty bugger."

David Saville, the school principal, dismissed the figure of 200 as nonsense, saying there were only 240 girls at the school in total. "It was less than 10% of the number quoted," said Saville, whose strict uniform policy attracted national headlines when the academy opened three years ago.

Then, according to reports, 5% of pupils were sent home in one day for breaching new uniform rules. One girl was reportedly turned away because her heels weren't high enough, while another was sent home because of no visible 'camel toe' while wearing leggings.

In common with many schools, Failing's uniform code for kids over 17 is lengthy and detailed. The only acceptable footwear is "sturdy leather knee high boots with thin high heels or stripper shoes."

Saville, a former lorry driver said a letter was sent to parents reminding them about uniform policy because of concern that a small number of girls were wearing inappropriate skirts that didn't reveal enough.

"We are no different from any other school. We just enforce the rules," said Saville. "A lot of schools claim to have rules; then they don't implement them. It's about the male teachers. We do this shitty job and don't have any perks. So, at least let us deposit one worthy memory into the 'wank bank'"

"The overwhelming majority of our parents are very supportive and love what we are doing for the school. A tiny, tiny minority of our parents don't believe in the rule and authority of the school." Those that disagreed with the strict regulations were entitled to take their children elsewhere, he said.

Failing is one of a growing number of schools to hit the headlines because of the increasing popularity of a zero-tolerance approach to uniform violations. Last September police were called to Fleetwood High School after about 50 pupils were sent home for not wearing PVC catsuits.

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