September 16, 2021, 17:33

    Schoolgirl sent to isolation over ‘ankle-showing’ trousers that ‘could distract teachers’

    Schoolgirl sent to isolation over ‘ankle-showing’ trousers that ‘could distract teachers’

    A schoolgirl has claimed she was told to change her trousers and socks – because her bare ankles could be "distracting to other pupils and teachers".

    Olivia Harrison, 13, said she was ordered to fetch replacement clothes from the lost property by a staff member at John Smeaton Academy, Leeds, at lunchtime on Monday.

    The trust running the school said it did not comment on individual cases but added that it made "no apologies" for having the "highest standards" – including regarding uniform.

    Olivia told LeedsLive : "[The staff member] said I had to change my trousers and socks because you could see my ankles and she said it was distracting for other pupils and teachers.

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    Lily Buchanan (left) and Olivia Harrison (right), who have both been excluded from John Smeaton Academy over uniform issues

    "I said, 'are you saying they're going to get turned on?' And [the staff member] said, 'well I wouldn't put it like that.' She said my trousers showed my figure too much as well."

    The Year 9 pupil objected to wearing lost property trousers so she was then sent to isolation.

    When she refused to comply with this punishment she was excluded for two days and sent home, with a further three days in isolation to complete after she returns to school on Thursday.

    Olivia's mum, Karen Harrison, said several students have fallen foul of uniform rules since the school was taken over by The Gorse Academies Trust at the start of term.

    "It's got really bad the last two weeks," she said. "Olivia's trousers are from Debenhams, they're the ones she wore before with no problems.

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    "Now I've got to order more trousers. They should be more interested in education and not what pupils are wearing."

    Karen said she has tried to contact the school several times but to no avail.

    A spokesperson for The Grove Academies Trust said: "We have the highest standards across all areas of school life, whether that is in the classroom, in terms of behaviour and with regard to uniform.

    "We make no apologies for this and are pleased that the majority of students abide by these standards.

    "However where students do not meet them, we have clear policies in place.

    "We do not comment on individual cases but can say we have not received a parental complaint on this matter."

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