Angry parents have slammed “ridiculous” school dress code rules that saw many pupils disciplined for wearing the wrong trousers.
New headteacher Christian Wilcocks began his first day in charge at Colne Valley High School with a crackdown on pupils’ attire.
Mr Wilcocks told the Examiner in July that he would be clamping down on discipline at the Linthwaite school, which was put in special measures by Ofsted after a damning report in December 2012.
Parents were sent reminder text messages yesterday to check they had conformed with strict directives, which were sent out on July 15.
But the Examiner understands several pupils fell foul of the rules within minutes of arriving this morning and were put in isolation away from their friends.
Many parents took to Facebook and rang the Examiner to vent their fury at the zero tolerance policy.
One parent from Marsden, who did not want to be named, said both his daughters had been caught out by the tough regime.
“It’s nothing to do with their education and nothing to do with being disruptive,” he complained.
“I feel very angry that they’ve missed out on a day’s school because their trousers are too tight.
“Yet the school has said no baggy trousers.
“Both of them went to school in a really positive mood looking forward to the new year and they’ve been immediately pulled up.
“I feel since the school got the bad Ofsted rating the teachers have been taking it out on the pupils.
“It’s totally unfair.
“They’re blaming the kids.
“They’re over the top with everything they’re doing.”
Another parent told the Examiner her daughter has been put in isolation for wearing trousers with pockets.
She said: “These are trousers were bought from Natasha’s school supplies.
“I am furious and she, a prefect and hard working pupil, is very upset.
“I understood isolation was to be used as a last resort when the pupil was hindering other pupils’ learning.”
Another parent said she had withdrawn her children in protest as she could not afford to buy more clothing.
“I told them to come home and they will stay at home for the rest of the week until I get paid again,” she said.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful. I’m so angry and yes I have complained to them. What a joke.”
Another mum revealed her child had been caught for having the wrong shoes.
Several parents on Facebook said the school’s letter said nothing about trousers with pockets on them being banned.
One said: “The letter has no reference to it, then surely the school owes a massive apology to everyone!
“You can’t enforce a rule which requires knowing about it beforehand if you’ve not let anyone know.”
School Principal Mr Wilcocks said: “A letter was sent to all parents on July 15, before the summer holidays, so that parents and students were aware of our expectations with regards to uniform when the new term started in September.
“I must stress that this does not constitute a change to our uniform policy. Our policy remains the same as last year, but there is now a clear raising of standards in our expectations of the way uniform is worn.
“We have been contacted by two parents who have expressed their concerns. It appears that, whilst local uniform stockists have made parents and students aware of the recommended trousers for girls, a very small number have opted for different styles which are not in keeping with our expectations.
“We are working with parents and the local stockist concerned to resolve the situation quickly and successfully, including exchanging the trousers free of charge for the styles that are in keeping with our uniform expectations.”
The “trouser-gate” scandal at the Linthwaite school comes just two years after “ruler-gate”.
In 2012 hundreds of pupils were given detention by then head Carol Gormley for not having the correct stationery on the first day of the summer term.
Colne Valley High School has published its uniform rules on the school website.
They are: a white tailored shirt, tucked-in and with the top button fastened;
School jumper with a blue band around the neck with the logo Colne Valley High School. The new Year 7’s should purchase the new jumper. The current Year 8-11 students are able to wear their existing jumper and if they need to purchase a new one can also purchase any of the old stock that the uniform suppliers have.
A clip-on school tie; Year 7 – Green, Year 8 – Purple, Year 9 – Black, Year 10 – Gold, Year 11 - Grey
Plain black tailored trousers (for boys or girls) or skirt (for girls only);
Plain black leather shoes free from branding (including black laces).
No boots, trainers, canvas shoes or pumps will be allowed.