Gosport school bans hoodies over image concerns

A school has banned hoodies from its premises due to concerns over students’ image.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:05 am
Ruben Sekules, 14, with dad, David Sekules, 48.

Mike Jones, deputy headteacher of Brune Park Community School in Gosport, said one of the key reasons was to improve the image of pupils and the negative impression wearing hoodies can have in the community. The hoodies are banned from being seen on the school’s premises, even during break-times.

Mr Jones said: ‘When you have large 15 and 16-year-olds wandering round in hoodies it can be quite intimidating, particularly for younger pupils. Some of these hoodies also have inappropriate images such as cannabis plants which creates the wrong impression.’

Mr Jones highlighted the issue of identifying students at break and lunch-times as a particular concern.

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Brune Park Community School has banned hoodies from the school's premises over concerns about the impression it can create

‘When hoods are up it can become difficult to identify students which can be an issue if an incident has occurred,’ he said.

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The policy, launched this term, now brings Brune Park in line with other schools in The Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust, including Mr Jones’s previous school, Bay House.

The decision has sparked controversy among students with one pupil even submitting his own report to The News expressing their anger.

Year 9 pupil, Ruben Sekules, 14, said: ‘I don’t see a problem with pupils wearing hoodies and it wouldn’t affect how I work. One teacher said it was because a number of former pupils had come into school wearing hoodies and they make it difficult to identify people on site. However most coats have hoods which can also hide faces.’

A Year 11 student, who asked to remain anonymous, added: ‘It’s a crazy decision and just a way for the teachers to suppress us. This school is slowly becoming a dictatorship.’

The school has defended its stance and said the decision is part of “preparing young people for later life”.

Mr Jones said: ‘A student wearing a hoodie in their English lesson is not going to affect their academic performance but the simple fact is it’s a leisure garment, with no weather protection, and most careers will have some form of uniform code. I often speak about this in assembly and stress that in years to come you wouldn’t choose to meet clients while dressed in a hoodie.’

The decision has brought a mixed response from parents.

Clint Horsecroft said: ‘I fully support the school and think hoodies should be banned. When people have their hoods up you can’t identify them.’

Fellow parent, David Sekules, responded: ‘I don’t see a problem. The first school I attended had a uniform but the second one didn’t and it didn’t affect my academic performance. I’m sure there’s more important things for the school to worry about,’