UPDATED: It is reported up to 150 students are today (Tuesday) in isolation at a Ryde school with many others sent home for not conforming to uniform policy, which is being cracked down on with focused inspections just weeks before the end of the school year.
Parents of students at Ryde Academy have expressed their anger at receiving a letter at the end of last week informing them that the policy on skirts, trousers and shoes was being strictly enforced with focused checks taking place from today (Tuesday 17th June), with less than 6 weeks left until the end of the school year.
In the letter sent to parents, the academy’s headteacher Dr Rory Fox said that skirts must be worn to the knee and that trousers cannot be ‘close fitting’, with these aspects of uniform becoming ‘increasingly problematic’. It was stated in the letter, dated 9th June, that Year 7 & 8 students with incorrect uniform would be kept on site but removed from lessons until the issues are resolved, whilst Year 9 & 10 students would be sent home to change.
Now, it is understood a large number of children – both boys and girls – have been segregated from their classmates and removed from normal lessons for not meeting the now-enforced policy, as stated in the letter, meaning students’ education is being affected by the crackdown which many are saying is unnecessary and uncalled for at this time during the academic year. Others have been sent home.
A member of staff in a high-vis jacket with a clipboard was seen at the school gates this morning.
Speaking to Island Echo, parents and guardians have said they refuse to invest in new clothing ahead of the Summer holidays and that such a strict approach is damaging to the education of their children. One parent has said they had not been informed personally that there was an issue with their child’s appearance, with her daughter now in isolation for having tight-fitting trousers due to rapid growth in recent months – trousers that are due to be replaced ahead of the new school year.
Parents have been attempting to contact the school throughout the day, however are unable to get through. The letter directed any questions to Mrs Price.
UPDATE @ 22:30 – Ryde Academy have this evening issued a statement to Island Echo in response to our enquiry.
A spokesperson said:
“At Ryde Academy we have high expectations of our students. As the weather has improved over the last couple of months, a number of uniform issues have become apparent amongst students. The Academy wrote to parents on 27 May 2014 about what was appropriate and there has been extensive discussion with students, as well as a number of assemblies since then. The Academy sent a second letter to parents on 9 June 2014 to inform them that there would be a uniform focus on the 17 June 2014. Parents were informed that if students’ uniform was still not correct on that date, then older students would be sent home to change and younger students would be educated apart until their uniform issues could be addressed.
“We are grateful to the very many parents who support us on a day to day basis by ensuring that their children arrive at the Academy in the agreed uniform, and help to uphold the standards of dress/uniform that Ryde Academy expects.
“The governors and staff are conscious that we are preparing students for the world of work and so it is important that our students understand the importance of managing their appearance and working within the framework of a dress code”.
In addition, it has been announced that the school day will become 10 minutes longer at Ryde Academy with lessons set to finish at 14:50 from September.