Mum and Worksop school in ‘unsuitable shoes’ row

Emma Kirk's children were put in detention at Outwood Academy Valley for wearing shoes the school say are not suitable
Emma Kirk's children were put in detention at Outwood Academy Valley for wearing shoes the school say are not suitable

A Worksop mum who shelled out £70 on school shoes for her two sons claimed they were given detention due to the shoes having tiny coloured tags on the side.

Emma Kirk said she was told to go out and buy replacement shoes by staff at Outwood Academy Valley as they were “unsuitable”, despite the fact they had been bought from a Back to School catalogue.

Emma also claims staff at the Valley Road school told the boys, who are in Year 8 and Year 9, to “deface” the Kickers shoes by filling the coloured tags in with permanent black marker.

She has accused staff of “harrassing” pupils over uniform when they should be “priortising their education”.

She said: “I’d like teachers to realise that without us, the parents, there would be no children for them to teach and they’d be out of a job.

“The shoes were bought from a Back to School catalogue and were perfectly suitable.

“I could understand if I’d sent them to school in trainers.

“ I laughed down the phone when a staff member told me to go out and buy more shoes.

“I don’t have the money to do that. Other parents will know trousers alone are £15 a pair, shirts are £10 for a pack of two. It adds up.”

A spokeman for the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, which runs Outwood Academy Valley, said: “We have continued to have a clear uniform policy which has been shared with parents, carers and the community since Outwood Academy Valley became part of Outwood Grange Academies Trust in 2012.

“This policy is displayed on all academy websites and issued in student planners.”

“The uniform policy clearly states students must wear shoes that are plain black.

“This means that students cannot wear boots, trainers or shoes with logos.

“The academy has offered to provide alternative footwear for the small number of students concerned and this offer has been declined.”

The Outwood Grange Academies Trust spokesman said: “The Trust does not exclude students for wearing the incorrect uniform.

“However, if a student refuses to follow a reasonable request to change their footwear, then this would lead to a fixed-term exclusion.

“The academy always prioritises the education of students. It continues to achieve outstanding outcomes for its students.

“This was recognised by Ofsted this year when the academy was graded outstanding in all areas and in its GCSE and A level results in the summer, which were some of the highest in Nottinghamshire.”