A ROW erupted after Cowley International College students were sent home for wearing non-regulation footwear.
One parent estimated that 40 Year 11 students were sent home and told to come back wearing plain black school shoes while another said as many as 60 pupils were involved.
The College stated “only a very small number of students were sent home to replace incorrect footwear with shoes that adhere to the standards clearly set out in our uniform policy”.
The Star received unsolicited complaints from three families with students who had been sent home.
Thatto Heath man Philip Martlett, whose granddaughter 16 year-old Danielle Waring was one of them, said: “Forty kids lost a day’s schooling, I think this could have been handled better. Dani was wearing trainers but she has now returned to Cowley with a pair of proper school shoes.”
Danielle said: “It is getting to the point where Cowley cares more about appearance than your education. If they were going to make the rule it should have been in our planner last September then we would have known which shoes to wear.”
One mum told the Star: “My son has worn the same style shoes for the past four and a half years since he started at the school. He was told to remove his shoes and wear a pair that they would provide. He refused. I was called to be told he was being sent home. I feel this punishment is just too harsh.”
Cowley Principal Cameron Sheeran said: “We firmly believe that uniforms – both clothing and footwear – contribute positively to students' behaviour. When students wear uniforms, they feel more professional and behave accordingly.
“Experience has shown that students can become distracted by fashion trends and status symbol clothing. Uniforms also eliminate any competition about being dressed in the latest styles – which can put financial pressure on students and their parents or carers.
“All parents and carers are made aware of the college’s uniform requirements when they arrive at Cowley - and are advised that this policy will be enforced. “If any family raises concerns or has any questions surrounding this matter, we will work with individual cases to offer appropriate advice and support.”