Frosty reception for school that banned pupils from wearing ‘status symbol’ winter coats


She added that her son was put into isolation as punishment and the uniform policy was “nonsensical” and “common-sense” should prevail.

Other parents said their children had been left “absolutely frozen” and that school policies are “absolutely archaic”.

In an email to the parents of Year 9 students, head teacher David Curry explained the rationale behind the coat ban.

He said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to state that students are allowed to wear coats to and from school as some have long journeys and have to wait for parents and/or buses in the morning/afternoon.

“However, once they arrive at school after registration period, we expect that an undergarment (e.g. vest/t-shirt/base layer) along with a school polo shirt, jumper, fleece and optional jacket (windcheater) would be sufficient to keep them warm and conversely allow them to take layers off when in warmer classrooms.

“In essence, the four/five layers of clothing we suggest should be more than ample to ask them to go out at break to get a blast of fresh air and withstand almost all weathers.

“If we allowed non-uniform coats, we believe strongly that it would erode the great relationships we have with the students day to day as inevitably students would push the boundaries and wear hoodies and other coats (inc. styles and colours) that undermines the high standards we have.”

‘Against the spirit of the Act’

He added that the policy meant “status” coats – such as those made by North Face or Canada Goose – could not be worn by pupils, making some students feel vulnerable and undermining school values.

An Act of Parliament designed to reduce exorbitant school uniform costs was passed this year, and is set to come into force this September.

The Bill was introduced and championed by Weaver Vale MP and Shadow Local Government Minister Mike Amesbury.

He said what was being reported about Bishop Heber by parents was “clearly against the spirit of the Act”.

He said: “To hear about coats being confiscated in the middle of winter because they are deemed non-compliant with uniform policy, is plainly ridiculous.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council and Ofsted both said that they do not have a policy on school uniforms, and so could not comment on this case.

The school was contacted for comment.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

6 + 3 =