A SCHOOL has ‘banned’ children from wearing shoes indoors – to avoid getting its new carpets dirty.
Parents of youngsters at Barncroft Primary in Leigh Park, which has just opened a newly-refurbished building, have been sent letters suggesting pupils wear slippers instead.
And mums and dads who have to walk around the school to drop off and collect their children from classrooms say they have been asked not to set foot indoors with shoes on.
A letter to parents said: ‘We were hoping to keep our beautiful carpets looking clean and bright for as long as we can.
‘We’re asking the children to remove their shoes in school. If you would like to provide them with a pair of sensible slippers that would be lovely. Otherwise they are free to wear their socks.’
Steve Smith, 41, father of three children Adam, 10, Joe, seven, and Abbey, four, at Barncroft, said he thought the letter was a joke at first.
He told The News: ‘It’s completely absurd.
‘The school wants to preserve the carpets but it’s running the risk of our children stubbing their toes or stepping on something sharp like a drawing pin and injuring themselves.
‘Children go to school to learn, and carpets are there to get dirty.
‘When the children have come home with paint on their clothes in the past, we haven’t banned them from doing art.’
He added: ‘Abbey gets nervous and likes mum or me to take her into the classroom, but now we’ve got to wait outside. ‘Another dad was told to leave the school because he refused to take his shoes off, and we won’t take ours off which leaves us in an impossible position.’
Barncroft Primary has a new £6m extension of the junior school which amalgamated with the infants last April.
Liz Blake, head, denied the slippers were compulsory and said the school had never turned a parent away for wearing shoes.
She said: ‘We are absolutely not saying children have to take their shoes off.
‘We are simply offering the opportunity to wear slippers to keep the carpets clean.
‘Parents are not asked to take their shoes off.’
Mrs Blake wears slippers in school and says staff are encouraged to do the same or ‘make sure their shoes aren’t covered in mud’.