Since when have open toed sandals been a H&S issue?

(85 Posts)

I went everywhere on Saturday to buy my dd some open toed sandals as her shoes are too small and, espceially in this hot weather, I wanted her to have some cooling footwear. I suppose the lack of many school type sandals should have told me something, but I merely assumed everyone else had beaten me to it.

Then today, dd, who is normally so bubbly and full of life, came out of school looking dejected. Apparently school friends have been horrid and shouting at her today as she was wearing the "wrong" shoe.

A talk with the teacher revealed that open toed sandals are banned as a H&S issue - apparently, toes might get trodden on! With all the diplomacy and maturity that I do not possess, I told the teacher I thought that was nonsense. I still do. She said that it was pretty much a universal rule in schools these days. Well, all I can say is, it wasn't when I was a teacher.

Since getting home I have looked up the school prospectus, and, in fairness to them, it does say no open toed or open heeled shoes to be worn (dd's are both!) but can I really be expected to remember that when I read the prospectus 16 months ago?

Anyway, I have told the teacher that dd will be wearing the offending articles for the remainder of term as I can't take them back to the shop now and I can't afford to buy her another pair of shoes.

What does everyone else think about the banning of open toed sandals? How many people who grew up like me in the 70s remember toes being crushed in the playground as a result of open toed sandals being worn? Isn't it a health issue to allow feel to breathe as much as possible in this hot weather? I couldn't help but notice that the teacher I spoke to was herself wearing open toed sandals, a was I and every other woman I saw in the playground!

Ledodgyherring Mon 12-Jun-06 16:20:00

This is madness. They really are going too far what next Leather gloves in case they prick themselves with a pencil?

SoupDragon Mon 12-Jun-06 16:21:46

Can't you get closed heel/toe sandals though? Not that this is much help now, obviously.

I guess they're more vulnerable to having stuff dropped on them, also DSs trip more in open toed sandals but still seems a little OTT.

I am glad that is your reaction too Ledodgyherring. I am afraid I was a bit blunt in my immediate response to the teacher and crossly told myself afterwards that I should grow up one day before I hit 50.

Kathy1972 Mon 12-Jun-06 16:26:04

Gosh, that's madness, unless the school has them shifting heavy furniture or using pneumatic drills on a regular basis.

LadySherlockofLGJ Mon 12-Jun-06 16:28:12

Oh Eck off to google DS's school website.


More importantly.

Did she tell DD in front of the whole class ??

I would be more annoyed about that TBH.

LadySherlockofLGJ Mon 12-Jun-06 16:30:48

Glad you told me I have just googled,

Boys Mid or dark grey trousers
Tailored shorts

Shoes- sensible black or grey shoes
Socks - plain dark or white socks

Girls Dark blue and white checked dress
Plain navy blue skirt

Shoes - sensible shoes or sandals (no open toed footwear)

Socks - plain dark or white socks

So in essence DS can, but if he was a DD he couldn't madness.

KateF Mon 12-Jun-06 16:31:28

Banned at my dds school too and I agree it's going too far. They are coming home with very hot sweaty feet and I feel that I am well able to decide what constitutes a risk to their health and safety. However, as I work there I am complying with the rules and, in all fairness, I think it's a case of LEA policy rather than individual schools.

I know that at DS and DDds school they are not allowed to wear open toed or open heeled shoes. I was told it was a risk that someone might step on their toes or they could drop something on them. I know that its been a rule since DS started at the school 4 years ago.

MrsBadger Mon 12-Jun-06 16:31:49

sorry - I was never allowed to wear open toes or heels to school, (1980s not 70s I must admit) but (tellingly) nor were the teachers.
Vaguely remember being told they were dangerous on climbing frames or if a teacher had to run in a fire / similar emergency.
And to be fair I'm not sure I'd want to leg it after a runaway 5yo wearing flipflops...

I'm still not allowed to wear open toes to work, but that's because I work in a lab full of evil chemicals.

sandyballs Mon 12-Jun-06 16:32:07

Our school is the same. But surely a close toe, closed heel "sandal" is actually a shoe? Bizarre.

peachyClair Mon 12-Jun-06 16:33:10

My kids wear them, not an issue. The only closed ones I could find (not that I was looking) were jelly shoes (banned) or Doodles (too small). They do have a leather rule but with ds1 losing shorts etc weekly, just ain't viable- i go for those hiking style sandals for him.

SKYTVADICT Mon 12-Jun-06 16:33:18

Our school has this rule too although I don't think many people follow it.

I am hoping to buy DD2 some open toed sandals in the next couple of weeks if I can find any!

I don't think your DD should have been made to feel bad about it though. Good luck in getting her to wear them tomorrow

LadyTambaOfTambaTown Mon 12-Jun-06 16:33:42

How old is DD?

Im not sure what open toes shoes are really but I dont think heels should be worn to school

No LGJ, I don't think she told dd off at all. It was all dd's little friends who took it upon themselves to be the law enforcers. (I do hate the way they do that - what has happened to a bit of decent honest solidarity between children?) The teacher was obviously aware of dd's footwear as when I said "Is the wearing the wrong thing?" she didn't need to look down at her feet to see what I was talking about. I expect she has been plagued all day by little voices saying "Miss! Miss! X is wearing the wrong sort of shoe!"
When I said I thought the reason for banning them was silly, she suggested I could take it up with the head, so in some ways, I think she felt for me.

I am mostly cross because
a) it is a silly policy IMO
b) it isn't made plain enough to parents. There is a newsletter out every week - a small reminder just before Easter might have been appropriate I think
c) I hate the fact that dd is in trouble with the school and with her playmates because of something that is 100% my mistake, not hers.

WigWamBam Mon 12-Jun-06 16:34:55

Mmmm ... I would have felt the same until dd's last mufti day when she went in wearing sandals - she spent the next 5 weeks with a scabby face because she fell over running in them and hurt her face really badly. She also bruised her foot on the same day when she was on the climbing wall.

The school's Children's Mentor tells me that incidences of children falling over their own feet and hurting themselves, or of injuring their feet, more than triple on days when the children are allowed to wear sandals. I guess that's one of the reasons for the rule at dd's school.

Kathy1972 Mon 12-Jun-06 16:35:12

So do the rules forbid open toes but say nothing about heels?

foxinsocks Mon 12-Jun-06 16:35:26

ours allows it it seems but I think they are supposed to wear socks with their sandals (though I saw a fair few kids who weren't today)

ds wears closed toe sandals otherwise he falls on his face every few steps!

MrsBadger Mon 12-Jun-06 16:35:39

so this is technically a sandal, and this is technically a shoe. I challenge you to find a significant difference.

foxinsocks Mon 12-Jun-06 16:37:48

they both look like shoes to me

I think the closed sandles would be fine, but these open toed sandles are not

peachyClair Mon 12-Jun-06 16:38:38

they look so hot for small feet!

And my boys'd look crap in them

Dd is 6. It was heart breaking actually as she was so keen on her sandals and so excited about weating them to school. When she got home and took them off, I saw her straightening them lovingly before changing into her ballet stuff.

SoupDragon Mon 12-Jun-06 16:42:16

these would be fine though. If they werne't pink.

Furball Mon 12-Jun-06 16:48:36

Ds (reception) has open toed and open backed sandals. I was surprised when I asked the teacher and she said yes. - He is the only one though, most boys wear big clumpy shoes with their shorts. I'll have a shuft at the girls footwear and see what they do.

I can understand it at senior schools with a more strict uniform but for infants and even juniors seems abit crazy.

Furball Mon 12-Jun-06 16:51:54

Soupdragon - Those sandals are for tots I think size 3 - 6 1/2.

These are the offending sandals

I don't even like them but they were dd's choice and they seemed sensible enough to me.

I hasten to add that I would not have bought her open toed sandals, even though I think they are more appropriate for summer, if I had known of the school rule. I am not a rule breaker for the sheer hell of it!

Oh and I am not new to schools. Dd has 2 older brothers and both of them definitely wore open toed sandals when they were in Reception and Year 1. (different school though)

Cod Mon 12-Jun-06 17:01:04

Message withdrawn

geekgrrl Mon 12-Jun-06 17:02:20

gosh, I've never thought about this. The dds can wear whatever footwear they like for school, including open-toes sandals.

Whizzz Mon 12-Jun-06 17:12:18

Had a check with DSs school & it doesn't mention anything - just black shoes for girls & boys - I am sure I have seen sandles worn.

sunnydelight Mon 12-Jun-06 18:02:45

Being a good mummy I spent ages trying to find suitable sandals for DS2 to wear to school (in the end had to order them) only to find that everyone else is ignoring the rule and he could have worn the perfectly good open toe sandals that still fit him from last summer hols - AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

GDG Mon 12-Jun-06 18:07:32

Must admit, mine have closed toe sandals - teh brown leather ones from Clarks (not for school though - ds1 wears winter black shoes) - I think when they are young and a bit clumsy it is easy to fall over in open toe ones. I can remember the sole of the shoe under the toes getting caught on the poles of climbing frames and also folding under the sole iyswim. I think the closed toe ones are safer but not sure if they do them for girls??

Generally I think the world has gone a bit mad on H&S but agree open toe sandals could be a bit of a nightmare in school.

hulababy Mon 12-Jun-06 18:12:24

Got DD's uniform list for next year and hers also says no open toed sandles. Closed toe are fine.

I am not allowed to wear open toes to work either, because of H&S.

julienetmum Mon 12-Jun-06 23:18:18

Sorry but I don't think the sandals that you linked to are suitable for school. They are not sturdy enough.

Dd is allowed to sandals to nursery as long as they are a full style as young feet need the support and need sturdy shoes to take part in all the activities.

Her uniform list for next year (reception) states that girls can wear sensible black sandals. That seems a little ambiguous to me (which is surprising as everything else is very very specific with regards to uniform.

alexsmum Mon 12-Jun-06 23:27:24

i think the navy sandals you linked to were eminently sensible for school-entirely appropriate.I will be sending ds to school in his navy blue open sandals and i will be very cross if anyhting is said.

handlemecarefully Mon 12-Jun-06 23:31:19

I think it's fecking barmy!

handlemecarefully Mon 12-Jun-06 23:32:05

I might send dd to her reception class in September in jelly shoes just to be awkward

cat64 Mon 12-Jun-06 23:39:34

Message withdrawn

handlemecarefully Mon 12-Jun-06 23:42:20

tripping up doesn't bother me - should it?

Piffle Mon 12-Jun-06 23:49:17

Since my son decapitated his big toe holding open a door for a teacher in 2001...
Blood everywhere
Got a msg from teh scholl, saying your son has hurt his foot badly pls hurry to school, got there through the door and followed the blood trail.
One seriously lacerated and broken toe
Open toes sandals never again in our house.

handlemecarefully Mon 12-Jun-06 23:50:42

That sounds horrible........

But - as real and dreadful as that was Piff, isn't that a freak / very unusual accident?

Piffle Mon 12-Jun-06 23:57:43

Too right
NEVER hold the door open for teachers, he should have known better!!!!!!!
YEs freak accident but enough for me to ensure toes are covered in future he was 7 at the time so not young young either.

serenity Tue 13-Jun-06 00:25:44

DSs aren't allowed open toes sandals either, but tbh they play alot of football, so it wouldn't have been a sensible choice anyway - for the same reason, I still send them in in long trousers. I have to say that I can't wear sandals to work either, so it's never struck me as odd that they can't!

grumpyfrumpy Tue 13-Jun-06 07:17:03

No sandals at our school or at work either so we all suffer hot and sweaty feet.

Thanks to all those who have posted in agreement with me. I didn't expect so many of you to agree I admit! I am happy to read comments from people on the other side of the fence too!

I still can't get over this tbh. I can see that tripping up could be a problem, but I agree with handlemecarefully, is that really a problem? My children come home every day of the week with bruises and cuts. At this school alone ds1 has broken his nose and ds2 has split his chin open during a swimming lesson. When these accidents occurred, I thought nothing more than that this was part of childhood. It wouldn't occur to me to sue the school for negligence. If dd stubs her toe, well, it won't bother me. Surely it is far more important that her feet are able to breathe in this hot weather?

Interesting point about why everyone else knew not to wer sandals and dd didn't. I wondered about that too. I can only suggest that we moved to the school a year ago and so as latecomers so to speak, maybe we missed the rules being laid down at the new parents meeting.

Bramshott Tue 13-Jun-06 10:36:26

The sandals look lovely, and I bet your DD looks lovely in them! Only 6 weeks till the holidays . . .

Emma7 Tue 13-Jun-06 10:38:41

I agree that this is going to far and we don't have this rule at my school but I can see where it's coming from.
It is the no win no fee companies who are to blame as schools are having more and more parents trying to sue them for injuries which happen at school. In serious cases I am sure that this is justified but health and saftey policies and risk assessments have to be so tight these days - it is ridiculous in my opinion and is severely limiting the experiences which children are given in schools who take this to the extreme.

I think it's a load of nonsense. I would accept no open-toed sandals in say the chemistry lab, a cooking, woodwork or sport class - but these hardly apply in primary school. I've been sending ds to school in sandals and he has had one or two children tell him off, but I've told him it's not the children's place to tell him off, and unless his teacher tells me that he mustn't wear sandals then he can go to school in sandals. I do insist on socks at school (partly it seems bad manners not to wear socks, but mostly to give toes some protection from grazes), but he wears them without socks at other times.

As for the safety issue - have they banned shorts yet? Whenever either of mine switch from long trousers to shorts their legs get covered in bruises, scratches and grazes. Dd turned up to nursery this morning with two huge bleeding grazes on her knees - and she was under my care when she fell over. Surely H&S implications of shorts are just as serious as for sandals?

as a hairdresser we are not supposed to wear them due to hair going into feet or maybe cutting our toes off if we drop our scissors but i did have to sighn a waiver wear i used to work so i could wear open toed sandals

foxinsocks Tue 13-Jun-06 10:42:36

eeww piffle what an awful story!

Pretty Candles, excellent point about shorts. I will remember that one if the head gets involved. I am hoping, now that the children have had their say (again I agree with you PC that the children have no right to tell my dd off, but they do so yesterday) then nothing more will be said. But just in case it does go further, I will enjoy mentioning the point you made about shorts. Thank you!

Bozza Tue 13-Jun-06 10:58:00

DS is wearing his usual school shoes to school and quite happily. Out of school we have a battle whereby he wants to wear his trainers all the time (just in case he needs to play football) and I try to get him to wear his sandals.

DD has closed heel, open toe sandals and doodles. I always send her to nursery in the doodles because I have noticed that she does tend to trip more in her sandals.

bloss Tue 13-Jun-06 11:28:26

Message withdrawn

julienetmum Tue 13-Jun-06 13:26:20

Do primary schools really not have chemistry labs, home ec rooms or woodwork facilities? Mine certainly had all three (though they did get rid fo the woodwork/metalwork one) and the ones I have seen recently have had one particular classroom assigned to that subject as well as being a general classroom.

I personally feel that young feet should be well supported in a sturdy shoe, my issue is not so much with open toes but with open backs. It's OK for the beach but when a child is wearing them all day, every day for school they are not good.

Well my children's school does not have chemical labs or woodwork rooms or anything of that nature. I can't speak for anyone else's.

Could I just point out that none of my children wear their shoes day in day out. They put them on at 8:30 to go to school and take them off at 3:30 when they get home.

julienetmum Tue 13-Jun-06 13:33:09

Really Dumbledoresgirl. How do they do practical science then. I know there is a move to less specialist teachers and more general but I owuld have thought they had to have some practical facilities.

They are only primary school children. Dd is 6.

julienetmum Tue 13-Jun-06 13:56:26

But surely the facilities are there for the older children years 5 and 6 (aged 9-11)

I suspect this a a completely different thread.

No I really don't think the school has woodwork or chemistry type labs. I guess they might do a bit of cooking but I don't know where. In the year mine have been there, I can't recall any of them (they are now in Yrs 5, 3, and 1 so they cover all sections of the school age range) doing anything like that.

When I taught (Primary, mainly Yrs 5 and 6) we did do a tiny bit of woodwork but it was in the class's own room, not anywhere special.

Not one of the infant schools or primary schools that I have visited since starting to look at schools for ds had any of those rooms. In both of the schools he has attended the Reception children did some cooking, but either the teacher brought a portable stove into the classroom, or they took their ingredients into the staffroom.

My children also only wear shoes when they go out-of-doors, and I don't think that a good, well-fitting pair of sturdy Clarks sandals give poor support. I remember my brother and me kicking footballs, skipping, scooting and cycling in open-toed and open-heeled sandals all summer long. We even did it barefoot! We picked up plenty of bumps and scrapes along the way, but never did any damage.

If ds says he wants to wear closed shoes because he finds it more comfortable for football, or some such thing, then fair enough. But I really think this is taking H&S too far - and it's not just schools: did you see something in the paper this weekend, about Torquay or Torbay council considering that palm trees were dangerous because the pointy leaves might poke someone in the eye - fgs what is the world coming to!

julienetmum Tue 13-Jun-06 14:04:52

There is definately a home ec kitchen in the primary school we hire.

I guess facilities vary from school to school.

spidermama Tue 13-Jun-06 14:04:58

I'm totally with you DG. What a ridiculous contortion of risk perception. How outreageous that because of this madness our childrens feet must be bound in leather in hot temperatures.

tamum Tue 13-Jun-06 14:08:17

I have also never ever heard of primary schools with chemistry labs- I can't imagine how they would use chemistry labs properly at that age. I have obviously led a sheltered life. Your poor dd, DG. That brought tears to my eyes, her lining up her shoes and being told off about them.

Marina Tue 13-Jun-06 14:27:28

Sorry to hear about your dd being ticked off by the rest of the class DG
Must admit, having witnessed an incident a bit like what happened to Piffle's ds at primary school, am OK with ds' school policy of no open-toed/open-heeled sandals in school.
It was carnage You would not think there would be so much blood in one toe. I know these incidents are rare but the memory of it has stayed with me for over 30 years.

Marina Tue 13-Jun-06 14:28:52

And the nearest contact ds and co are likely to have with chemicals tbh are when they have school trips and hence a packed lunch, and it is a cheese-string and peperami fest . I wouldn't want one of those on my child's bare skin!

Crackle Tue 13-Jun-06 14:36:13

My son broke his nose as a 6yo because the front of his open-toed sandal caught under a mat the kids sit on during assembly. He really went down hard and managed to miss the mat entirely catching his face on the metal side of the teachers chair.

The sandals were brand new and the teacher had told me just that morning that they weren't actually standard issue.

A few years later when I was roped in to do a stint of lunchtime playwork, I saw plenty of kids hobbling because they couldn't kick a football in sandals. Didn't seem to stop the daft ones from trying though.

I think that the schools are right in this decision. Could your little girl at least wear cheapo plimsolls for breaktime?

prettybird Tue 13-Jun-06 14:36:36

I'm sure when I was in NZ in the 70s, our "summer" uniform included (open toed) sandals. Don't remember any H&S issues - and as this was Scondary School, we would also have been going to chemistry classes.

PMSL Marina

Dd does have plimsols at school (for PE) which shw could wear if they really wanted her to although personally, I think her feet are in better footwear when she wears her sandals than when she wears plimsols. but if they insist, I would rather that than buy her more shoes or have her toews trodden on.

Blandmum Tue 13-Jun-06 16:56:08

We are asked not to send the kids into school in open toed sandels as they have too manu accidents wearing them.

In senior school they are banned in labs and work shops etc for valid reasons.

BTW while we are talking H&S, ds1 has broken his arm 3 times, twice at school and one of those occasions was when he tripped on the play equipment in the playground and hit the wooden surround that holds in the "safety" bark chippings. One could argue that if there had been no chippings and no frame, he would not have broken it (or not as badly as he did anyway)

HelenSandalsMum Sun 28-Jul-13 19:39:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HeySoulSister Sun 28-Jul-13 21:43:01

This ones not deleted tho??

MidniteScribbler Mon 29-Jul-13 04:29:58

No open toe shoes at our primary school - for students and staff. We spend break times encouraging the students to be physically active, so I wouldn't like to see them wearing sandals. Personally, I'd actually prefer them in a decent pair of sneakers/trainers rather than the traditional leather school shoes.

MrRected Mon 29-Jul-13 04:51:25

Children who live in hot climates wear sandals to school. Not really comparable though as the UK doesn't usually have prolonged spells of really hot weather. Isn't it all a mute point anyway? Aren't you all in the middle of school hols?

My DD wears sandals - but it doesn't go much 30 degrees in the day here for at least 6 months of the year. She has lived to tell the tale - so have her brothers and all their toes.

Thumbwitch Mon 29-Jul-13 05:14:41


katydid02 Thu 08-Aug-13 14:35:03

It's not allowed in schools here, to be honest I'd assume that they were not appropriate school shoes.

RustyBear Thu 08-Aug-13 14:46:58

This really takes me back - it was just after I joined MN - I was thinking - oh look, so and so's back - then I noticed the date....

mothersanonymous Sun 11-Aug-13 23:44:18

The OP's DD probably has a new pair of shoes by now then grin

ipadquietly Mon 12-Aug-13 23:22:46

...since I stopped my bike with my foot wearing a pair of them!

(Now I use the brakes.)

NoComet Sun 18-Aug-13 01:15:20

DDs school got huffy about 4 years ago, fortunately the summer after DD1 went to senior school.

I think she'd would have gone in sandals regardless and the HT and I would have had a massive falling out.

DD2 doesn't like sandals and always follows the rules.

InkleWinkle Sun 18-Aug-13 01:38:44

OP's daughter's probably buying her own shoes by now grin

UniS Wed 28-Aug-13 20:58:04

They are a H&S issue. a person is more likely to incur an injury to their toes or their heel in open toe, open heel shoes than in shoes that cover the toes and heel.

I hate dealing with children in open toe sandals who have tripped in the playground and grazed their toes/ top of foot. Mind you I also hate most girls school shoes as they fall off and fall apart and a rubbish for playing run about games on tarmac.

VenusRising Fri 30-Aug-13 10:11:43

"Then today, dd, who is normally so bubbly and full of life, came out of school looking dejected. Apparently school friends have been horrid and shouting at her today as she was wearing the "wrong" shoe"

This is the only sentence that has me worried dumbledoresgirl.

Bullying must not be allowed and must not be tolerated.

I suggest you take this matter up further with the school, and get them to do a whole class workshop on tolerance and acceptance. It's unreal that children are allowed to be horrid and shout at another pupil.

To hell with the shoes, it's the bullying you need to take action on.

VenusRising Fri 30-Aug-13 10:12:57

Oh god, was this a zombie!!

Where do they come from?

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