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Parents have been left fuming after claiming their children were given detention for breaking a “strict and sexist” rule during a heatwave.
Pencoed Comprehensive, in Bridgend, Wales, are said to have penned a letter to the families warning they’d be checking pupils’ uniforms for any unacceptable standards.
Most of the girls who were handed detentions claim they were told their skirts were too short – school rules dictating the garment must be no shorter than 5cm above knee length.
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According to Wales Online, around 20 pupils were taken to the school hall and given a talking-to, but the school denies measuring skirts and did not confirm the number of pupils in detention.
The school statement claims: "No measuring took place or was carried out by staff at any time.”
However, parents are adamant their daughters' school skirts were measured.
Speaking to the publication, one mother claimed her daughter was given a lunchtime detention over her skirt length.
She claimed uniform was checked as some pupils arrived at school this week while others were ordered out of lessons to check what they were wearing and skirt lengths.
While some parents claim they are not against the uniform policy, they are complaining that the school has taken it too far, by accusing the school of unfairly targeting girls.
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They also accused the school of going against Welsh Government guidance by insisting on tops with logos and shorts bought from a uniform supplier.
A letter from acting assistant headteacher Matthew Thompson, sent to parents and seen by WalesOnline, said: “Unfortunately, after a period of monitoring we have identified that our high uniform standards are not being met by an increasing number of students. Due to this, we will be implementing a non-negotiable, robust approach to ensure we meet our high standards.
“After half term, we will increase the monitoring and identification of where the uniform policy is not being met. As per our policy, students’ presence during break times and lunch times will be reduced where they are not meeting the expectations.
“In these circumstances, parents will be contacted and requested to bring in the correct uniform. Should the issues continue, your child may be asked to go home and change.
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“In preparation for September please ensure that any items purchased adhere to our school uniform policy.”
The letter adds that “the only shorts permitted are formal chino style shorts that are available to be purchased at a reasonable cost at the uniform shop".
The school's website details how uniform breaches are dealt with. It says the graduated response includes restricting pupils' movement on the school site, asking them to go home and change and ultimately, exclusion.
The school warns: "Where breaches of the uniform expectations are persistent and in open defiance of the school’s uniform or appearance policy, and where all other avenues for resolving the uniform dispute have been exhausted, then the school may consider exclusion as a last resort depending on the circumstances of the case."
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