Parents are preparing to boycott a high school’s new uniform policy despite fears their children will be disciplined for breaking the rules.
A group of angry parents have claimed that Holmfirth High staff failed to consult them on plans to introduce trousers and skirts with a school logo from September.
Parents say the new trousers and skirts cost over £20 apiece – far more than they currently pay at cut-price retailers.
Those opposed to the uniform changes have estimated that more than 100 pupils may ignore the new rules at the request of their parents.
Parent Nick Barton said not all parents could afford garments with logos.
And he claimed the school was sending out conflicting messages about punishments pupils might face for failing to wear the correct skirts or trousers.
“If they are going to treat children differently it is grossly unfair,” he said.
Heather Thompson, whose 15-year-old son is a pupil, said parents were worried their children would be “victimised” if they didn’t wear the new uniform.
“It is obscene that they are expecting parents to spend so much more money,” she said.
Single parent Caroline Quinn, who will have two children at the school in September, said senior staff had offered to provide financial help if she could prove her income.
But she said: “I don’t want to go through the humiliation of having to show them my details.”
Some parents believe the new policy has been driven by concern over girls wearing skirts which are too tight and short.
Victoria, who has a 15-year-old daughter at the school, said: “It does feel like we are going back to Victorian times by asking the girls to cover up.”
Parents have formed the campaign group ‘Holmfirth High, No Logo’ and have started a petition calling for a rethink.
The group’s Facebook page has 272 ‘Likes’.
Headteacher Craig Jansen has defended the changes saying a solution was needed due to “inconsistencies with how school uniform is worn by some students.”
He added: “Introducing trousers and skirts with a logo eliminates inconsistencies and removes the potential conflict arising over uniform suitability.
“This allows teachers and students to concentrate on what is important – teaching and learning.”
Mr Jansen said there had been “extensive consultation” lasting over two years involving parents, students, staff and goverors.
“The new uniform was also on display over several months in our school reception and publicised during school events such as parents’ evenings,” he said.
“Our school has ensured there is more than one supplier for the new uniform and that the purchase of the new uniform offers very good value for money for parents.
“There is provision to help low income families with the purchase of any of these new uniform items if needed. The DfE (Department for Education) guidance on school uniforms has been followed.”
Mr Jansen said the school has the authority to “implement sanctions” if pupils failed to abide by the rules, adding that the sanctions imposed would depend on the “situation and circumstance.”
He said: “It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child is in the correct uniform.
“The school is aware of a minority of parents who have expressed that they are unhappy with the school decision. However, we have had significant numbers of parents who have wholeheartedly expressed their support for the change in uniform.”