COMMENT: A sensible approach is needed over uniforms

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It’s that time of year again. As sure as August turns to September and the children return to school, soon enough the stories start emerging about problems – real or imagined – with uniforms.

Often we sympathise with the schools when it comes to matters of uniform.

The youngsters may not appreciate it, but by dressing everyone the same way and removing the element of choice it reduces the chances of those children from less well-off families being bullied for not having the most up-to-date fashions.

It even protects those pupils who may not care to follow fashion from being persecuted for daring to look different.

School, as we all remember, can be a very unforgiving place for those who step outside what is deemed to be the norm.

However, the situation at Park Community School has been a bit different.

Blazers have been part of the Leigh Park school’s uniform for the past eight years.

But they were only made compulsory at the start of this academic year.

So to send a pupil straight into the school’s disciplinary room, or ‘isolation’, for not wearing the blazer without first establishing why seems draconian and counter-productive.

Granted it was only for the short-term, but it removed the lad in question from his regular classes and has highlighted the issue in front of his peers in what is no doubt an embarrassing manner.

A compromise has thankfully been reached between the family and the school.

But the way the school initially dealt with this issue was heavy-handed – it’s not as if the pupil could have changed things there and then.

We hope lessons have been learned on both sides – from families being prepared to the school handling it better.