Academy bans skirts following Ofsted inspection

Clacton Coastal Academy students in the new uniform. Picture: CLACTON COASTAL ACADEMY

Clacton Coastal Academy students in the new uniform. Picture: CLACTON COASTAL ACADEMY - Credit: Clacton Coastal Academy students in the new uniform. Picture: CLACTON COASTAL ACADEMY

An academy in Clacton have banned skirts and skinny trousers half way through the academic year, leaving some parents out of pocket while others are preaching for an even stricter stance on uniform.

After an Ofsted report in May 2018 ruled Clacton Coastal Academy (CCA) “requires improvement” the school have introduced a new uniform policy and a new approach to behaviour.

Executive head of the school, Dale Jackson, previously led Kingswood Academy in Hull from “inadequate” to its current rating of “good” by completely turning around the standard of education on offer and introducing a new uniform policy and he hopes to use the same model in Essex.

He has rolled out a raft of change this term included banning skirts, skinny trousers, leggings and jeans.

A number of parents have been discussing the changes on Facebook.

Karen Prior, whose family moved to Clacton in the summer, said: “We made sure our daughter had the correct uniform to start in September. This included one pair of black Kickers because she has to walk or cycle 25 minutes to the school so we wanted the shoes to last.

“We also bought her two pairs of trousers and two skirts which are now not going to be worn and are just wasted money. We don’t mind change at the beginning of the new school year but when we bought the uniform it was acceptable and now she cannot wear the shoes because of two very small red and green labels.”

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Another parent took to Facebook to share her frustration. Harley Bond said: “My child missed out on two lessons this morning because the school were trying to find a pair of trousers to fit her! I’ve brought my children up to not worry about what they look like and be themselves – skirt or trousers, they still followed the rules.”

However, many parents accepted the changes and believe the measures will help bring improvements.

Michelle Evans said: “I totally agree, my daughter went in today in the correct uniform, she had no problems and already started getting stars on the new award chart. She is happy which in turn makes me happy.”

While Eileen Mason, whose daughter is in year 11, added: “It gets students ready for working life where a uniform is necessary. I fully understand why skirts were banned as some were far too short – it was also great that they supplied it so no one needed to be out of pocket.”

Despite the positive responses a number of people have criticised the timing of the new uniform policy arguing that they should have waited until the new school year.

A spokesman for CCA said: “We have an unwavering drive to improve the standards of education at Clacton Clacton Coastal Academy. Our aim is to ensure that every student leaves the academy with the qualifications, skills and attributes needed to go on to lead a remarkable life.

“Improving the standards of uniform is one of many areas we are focusing on, alongside a new approach to rewards and behaviour, and a new academic mentoring programme. In addition to this we have also developed and introduced a new approach to improving the standards of teaching and learning across the academy.

“At CCA we have the highest expectations. Wearing the correct uniform is a way to ensure that students look smart, are equal and are fully prepared for the world of work. Since the launch of the new uniform policy at the start of term we have received many positive comments from parents who are delighted with our approach and are pleased we are taking a firm line.”

A spokesman for the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) said: “We are always mindful of any additional costs to families, and so in this case the Academy provided both shoes and trousers (the two items that changed) free of charge to students who needed them.”

Similar changes have been made in a number of secondary schools across the country and closer to home.

Northgate school removed skirts from their uniform policy in 2011 following Kesgrave and St Alban’s High Schools which already had policies in place.

Do you think that more schools should follow suit?

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