Can a primary school enforce uniform rules ? New head making his mark I think(38 Posts)
My ds is 5 and has allergies and lifelong eczema.
A new head teacher has started this term and is now insisting all shirts are tucked into trousers / skirts. They wear polo shirts.
My ds came home crying as it really irritates his skin. He wears very lose clothing and cannot tolerate anything remotely tight even waistbands / cuffs etc.
Am I right in thinking primary schools cannot legally enforce uniforms or did I imagine that ?
I intend to ring the school next week and request an exception is made due to my ds skin condition. Do you think that will be taken into account ?
I wish new heads would not come in and make changes for no good reasons.
Legally I don't think state primaries can enforce a uniform as such, though it can be strongly recommended and advised. They must make sure the uniform is widely available and affordable too I believe. It;s more of a dress code I guess.
Your DS may not be happy being the only child not in uniform - this is something to bear in mind. However if you speak to the school about your DS's medical issues then I am sure a compromise must be possible.
You may be better going and speaking to the head teacher in person, rather than a phone call.
When I say cannot legally enforce - think this is due to disabilities, discrimination, etc. I am sure medical conditions would come in this group.
Hulababy: see posts from admission and prh47bridge above, which not only show it is legal to enforce uniform in primary, but also cite the law which makes it so.
The remaining question for OP is how to show the school that they need also consider DDA/EA, and what reasonable adjustments can be made on medical grounds.
(OP: thanks for response on waistbands: I'd been imagining something vast held up by braces!)
It's called uniform so they're all the same, kids however will always try to personalise their gear, nature of the beast I suppose.
Have a chat with the school, I'm sure together you will cone up with a solution. DS1 suffers from a number of severe allergies and eczema, so I totally get where you are coming from but tour ds won't want to be different from his classmates.
If you get the sweatshirt in a larger size (and perhaps trim and hem the cuffs up, which might be more comfortable for him anyway) then the polo shirt should be invisible. But in the meantime speak to the head - no reason to expect he'll be unreasonable.
It's a polo top - not a shirt. OP isn't suggesting that she doesn't wear the uniform - just that her child will find it extremely uncomfortable to wear the polo top tucked in.
They will untuck themselves anyway as soon as the children move, polo tops are waist length unlike shirts.
Just coming back to this briefly - I think that it's another of those 'it isn't what you say, it will be the way that you say it' [as my mum always used to say to me, when I protested 'but I only SAID...'] situations.
I am sure that if you approach the head with a 'I understand that you want to smarten up the uniform, but DS has eczema so we need to work together to find a reasonable adjustment. Either he can wear a soft vest underneath or I can hem up the polo shirt so that it won't show under a sweatshirt (though he won't be able to tuck it in the summer when he's not wearing a sweatshirt) or he can leave it untucked [or any other options that you can think of e.g. a different brand of polo shirt that you know has less scratchy material etc etc] - what would be the most acceptable to you?' then he / she will be very reasonable in return.
If, on the other hand, you approach the head with 'You have a new rule on shirts being tucked in, but DS won't be doing that because he has eczema. You can't make him because of the DDA / EA' then the response you get might be less positive ... not because the message is any different, but simply because of the way it is put IYSWIM?
Partricularly as the head is new, you don't know how reasonable / unreasonable / flexible / inflexible they are in general, and approaching them in the way that makes it easiest for them to be flexible (esapecially if you demonstrate that you are also willing to be flexible by coming up with possible solutions) is most likely to bring out their reasonable side!
[Am sure that I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, btw!]
This is from our LA admissions booklet . It would be worth looking at yours for additional imformation;
'Children are expected to dress neatly for school. Primary-age
children do not need to wear a school uniform, but many
schools ask children to wear a type or colour of clothing that is
associated with the school. However, as the Local Authority
does not ask for this, the Council does not provide a grant towards buying school clothing'
'information' of course not imformation!
Some very helpful responses thank you.
I will see how it goes and to recap it is the issue of tucking in a polo shirt that is the problem not the actual uniform itself.
Me as a headteacher of a school, where shirts must me tucked in. My children go to that school. They have the same problem. So for the winter terms they don't take there jumpers off. So I make them wear a normal shirt but it is slightly smaller than there size. In the summer I banned jumpers because children overheat. So I say you don't look stupid. You look smart. As soon as you come to my office at the end of the day, you're shirt can be untucked. They also were vests underneath.
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