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Can they really not find something more important to fuss about?

(33 Posts)
PrettyCandles Thu 26-May-11 16:26:43

Dd's school shoes are outgrown and worn out. She has awkward feet, and we haven't found school shoes to fit. So she has been going to school in trainers this week.

Now dd tells me that her teacher told her that I have to write a letter to the school about it. Not a clue what, though - am I supposed to be asking permission? (Like heck I will!) Or giving permission?

What's the big deal?!

hocuspontas Thu 26-May-11 16:28:35

Why don't you ask?

activate Thu 26-May-11 16:29:01

trainers are a difficult issue as they are brand based and can be expensive so can be divisive among students and point out who can afford and who can't

they can also denote gang affilition in some areas

students have been known to steal trainers to fit in

schools with a strict uniform policy normally don't allow trainers as footwear

this all applies to secondary of course - at primary, in general, wtf?

AMumInScotland Thu 26-May-11 16:31:49

If you can pop in and have a word with the teacher in person, you'll probably be clearer what they need you to do.

You may not want to "Ask permission" but if they have a strict rule about school shoes, then they can send her home for wearing trainers, and I'm sure you'd rather it didn't come to that. Since she wasn't immediately sent home, it sounds like they plan to be reasonably flexible, but they can't just ignore it and do nothing, or they'll have lots of children coming in trainers, or other parents complaining.

Personally, I don't think it should be a big deal, but for lots of schools uniform is high on their priority list.

PrettyCandles Thu 26-May-11 16:35:16

Primary school, Clarks trainers.

It seemed such a non-issue, so reasonable, and easily explained by dd (who, by the way, is always correctly and impeccably turned out), that I would not dream of wasting a teacher's time on it. I guess I shall have to.

pointydog Thu 26-May-11 16:49:03

I presume there's a uniform policy and the school's quite strict on it. Lots of kids come up with the 'oh it's in teh wash/I need a new one' etc so they can wear what they want. Just write a sentence or two that shows you know she's wearing trainers. School might think she's another child who's at it.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Thu 26-May-11 16:53:19

Just write a letter explaining. What's so hard about that?

emptyshell Thu 26-May-11 18:07:43

Just scrawl a quick note down.

If it's anything like my old school - the teacher might well be getting it in the neck from the head about uniform. I've had that happen, toward the end of term when shoes were worn out and I was fucked if I was going to be on people's case to buy a new pair of school shoes for the 3 remaining weeks of the entire school year... head decided to pick that week to start a uniform crusade which I was doing my best to ignore - a nice note saying "shoes are knackered, on the hunt for new ones that fit properly over half term" to brandish/ram down my old head's throat would have been useful.

Also helps foil those kids who aren't as honest and will just say "my old shoes are broken" when they're sat by the back door and they fancied coming in in their shiny new trainers. Not all kids are honest 100% of the time!

lljkk Fri 27-May-11 04:30:17

Just how awkward are her feet? <<Nosy>>

SilveryMoon Fri 27-May-11 05:58:33

My ds1's nursery/school have a strict uniform policy. Therefore, if he had to attend wearing something that wasn't a uniform item, I'd have written to his teacher to explain it. It wouldn't have crossed my mind not to

PrettyCandles Fri 27-May-11 07:51:13

Llijk: wide at the toe, narrow at the heel, with a high instep. The only styles available ATM are pumps and Mary Janes, and neither style stays on her foot. Often they flap like a flip-flop while at the same time digging in where her foot flexes.

It was ever thus. The only shoes that fit dd are shoes that close quite high near the ankle, and sandals. She has plain black sandals, but the school don't allow them, either.

BTW I am clearly insufficiently devious (or just naive) because the business of children pretending, in order to get out of havIng to wear uniform, never occurred to me. I assumed dd's word would be good enough. I understand why the school is fussing, now.

specialsmasher Fri 27-May-11 07:55:29

Although it is more a secondary issue than a primary, my guess is it is purely a requirement to have a note from home to show that the parent is aware that trainers are being worn, and that the shoes are not just stuffed in the PE bag by the child...

HattiFattner Fri 27-May-11 08:01:55

I too have an awkward child to fit shoes on - superwide hobbit feet with a high instep. Clarks are a waste of time. We now go to a small shoe shop in a neghbouring town where the guy really knows his stuff....asked us about specific issues before he meaured, then took a look at DS's smelly feet, then suggested two brands of shoes to look at and brought them out - even suggested that the cheaper pair were a better fit.

We will go back there for school shoes this summer. If you an find an independant fitter, I would recommend them.

For the school....just apologise for her not having proper footwear, and state you will remedy the situation as soon as you can. Tell them rather than ask them.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 27-May-11 08:04:59

You clearly need to go to a better shoe shop with experience of fitting children with non average feet.

My dd has a problem so needs trainers for PE instead of plimsols. Not a problem with the school as a letter was written.

My ds has tricky feet too but we manage to get school shoes for him no problem.

mankyscotslass Fri 27-May-11 08:18:31

Both my DDS's have grown out of their school shoes and are currently wearing plain black trianers to school. I just scribbled a note to the teachers to say I would replace the wchool shoes as soon as I got a chance to get ones that fit!

We will go this half term and get them some.

PrettyCandles Fri 27-May-11 09:34:52

I've always found John Lewis to be very good, plus they stock the widest range of makes. I shall try to take dd there this weekend.

Y'know, it really narks me that girl's school shoes are always so bloody dainty! It's so impractical - we walk to school, and this is England, it rains. Why is it so difficult to get girls' school shoes which are closed? Not just because that is the style that fits dd best, but because they keep feet drier than flipping Mary Janes.

zoekinson Fri 27-May-11 19:24:38

State Primary schools cannot send a child home for wrong uniform, they will be breaking the law, remind them of this. Uniform at primary is optional, not compulsory. They have no legal standing to enforce it.

Mum2be79 Fri 27-May-11 19:42:21

My eyes popped when I read this! Half of my class have trainers on, especially this time of the year as parents don't want to spend money on new school shoes for the next 7 weeks when they would like 'fresh' ones for September.

Tell them to go run and jump.

(I must admit, I have 6 year olds APOLOGISING for not wearing their school jumper. For Petes sake, they should be more worried about having the dreaded cabbage for tea!)

rabbitstew Fri 27-May-11 20:48:32

??? I didn't think school uniform at primary level was entirely optional for the children? Where did zoekinson get this from? I thought it was up to the Head Teacher and Governors to decide whether a school should have a uniform and that they were entitled to enforce their policy to ensure all children wear it, provided they do not in doing so fall foul of discrimination laws?...

As a matter of politeness and to avoid questions/false inferences (eg that I was having money trouble or couldn't care less) I would let my child's class teacher know why they were going to school in non-uniform footwear.

Feenie Fri 27-May-11 21:06:47

Nope, zoe is right, it cannot be enforced at primary level.

However, the OP presumably knew the uniform when she chose the school, so can't see the problem in writing a note/having a word with the teacher if dcs aren't wearing it.

Chelseahandfull Fri 27-May-11 21:50:02

Out of curiousity, (and not directly to do with the trainer OP) if children grow out of shoes in May, surely you need more shoes anyway, before Sept? Or do they run barefoot all summer?!

rabbitstew Fri 27-May-11 22:00:25

But where does the law say uniform policy cannot be enforced at primary level but can at secondary level? Just interested...

RustyBear Fri 27-May-11 22:06:56

Zoekinson - where did you get the idea that the OP's DD was going to be sent home?

rabbitstew Fri 27-May-11 22:26:21

I cannot find anything, anywhere, which says that primary schools are unable to enforce a school uniform policy - I can only find guidelines on the Directgov website setting out that it is up to the school to set its uniform policy and up to the headteacher to enforce it, including guidance on when and whether exclusion and other serious punishments may be acceptable...
I know some schools, particularly primary schools, don't make uniform compulsory, only make small elements of it compulsory, or have no uniform at all, but that's not the same thing as no primary schools being allowed to make uniform compulsory.

Feenie Fri 27-May-11 22:47:09

Have been down this road with our governors, rabbitstew, and received advice from the LEA - definitely not enforceable.

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