1. ITV Report

School put 71 students in isolation on first day back

Tracy Clarke and her daughter Phoebe Jackson Credit: BPM Media

More than 70 pupils were put in isolation on their first day back at school for wearing the wrong uniform or having dyed hair.

Parents were contacted by Bluecoat Beechdale Academy in Bilborough, Nottingham yesterday (7 September) informing them their children were in isolation for offences including dyed hair or wearing the wrong trousers or shoes.

The school has defended its new strict policy, saying it is preparing the pupils for the world of work.

47-year-old Tracy Clarke, of Broxtowe Estate, whose 14-year-old daughter Phoebe Jackson was put in isolation because of her dyed red hair, said the school even took away her daughter’s shoes as they did not look like leather, loaning her a new pair instead.

The shoes Phoebe was sent home for wearing Credit: BPM Media

She said:

I was given a phone call because her school was not happy about her stretched material trousers or her shoes. They're not not outlandish.

They also complained about the colour of her hair, which has not changed for three or four years but has never been a problem before.

She was put in a room and given a booklet to work through. She is not attending classes until the problem is resolved.

It’s not like she’s a problem pupil, she doesn't turn up in non-uniform every day. Year 10 is an important year and yet they are handing out isolation for the most trivial of things.

– Mother, Tracy Clarke

A letter from the school informed her that her daughter would be in isolation until the hair ‘issue’ was resolved.

Carl Elder, headteacher of the school for three years, told the Post:

We are passionate about raising standards and we keep moving the bar higher and higher.

We want the best possible start to the academic year and that includes having high expectations in all aspects of school life.

– Headteacher, Carl Elder
Bluecoat Beechdale Academy Credit: BPM Media

He said that he didn't want the school to "rest on its laurels" after its good Ofsted rating last year, but the dress code policy was about preparing students for the world of work.

He said that 71 students were put in isolation at the beginning of the first day of term, but by lunch yesterday 20 matters had resolved.

He added:

We have a school of 700 students - the vast majority are meeting these high standards.

– Headteacher, Carl Elder

In a letter from the school yesterday, the uniform expectations were outlined, forbidding jewellery (apart from a watch), hair dye, and nail polish, and stipulating that shoes must be leather-looking and trousers should be tailored.

It added:

From September 2017 we will have a zero-tolerance approach to uniform issues. Students who arrive at school failing to meet our uniform expectations will be isolated, until the uniform issue is rectified.

– School letter