Girls sent home from academy as blazers sell out

City of Portsmouth Girl's School'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves . (102114-6)
City of Portsmouth Girl's School'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves . (102114-6)
Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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PUPILS at a Portsmouth school which changed its uniform twice in two years say their daughters have been sent home for not wearing the correct blazers.

Portsmouth Academy for Girls, which is the new name for the City of Portsmouth Girls’ School, in Fratton, was taken over by the Rochester Trust last year and turned into an academy.

As such, even though it had changed its uniform in time for the 2012/13 school year, it has changed it again for the new academic year which began this week.

However, the new uniform is similar to the old, black uniform with parents being given a new badge to sew onto the blazer.

But those who chose to buy new blazers have not received them, as the new uniform supplier, Simmonds, was inundated with orders.

One mother, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘My girls have outgrown the old blazer so I threw it away, but the new blazers haven’t arrived.

‘We’re told the new blazers won’t arrive until the end of September – but some other parents say they have been told the end of October.

‘The girls aren’t allowed to wear coats to school, so what do I do? The school said I should buy another blazer from anywhere and they would refund me when the blazer I ordered comes in. But that’s more money I have to find.’

The school said it asked Simmonds to supply blazers for the 85 new children coming into Year 7, and ordered 250 blazers in case parents wanted to buy new ones for whatever reason.

However, the outfitters quickly sold out.

‘It took everyone by surprise,’ said Sue Wood, executive PA at the school.

‘We’ve only had a handful of girls arrive in incorrect uniform, and some were sent home to correct it if at all possible.

‘We issued a free tie and a free PE shirt, because they were the only things that were different, so there was no reason for anyone to incur any more expense.

‘What we couldn’t foresee was people throwing away the replacement badge that we provided.’

This term is the school’s first in its new academy status. Its funding now comes from private backers, rather than the local education authority. The aim is to turn the failing school around to improve standards for its pupils.