A secondary school has been accused of having a ‘Dickensian attitude’ towards children after it stopped a pupil from wearing his own £240 winter coat after he caught Strep A.
Aaron Bayley, 47, said Jesmond Park Academy in Newcastle confiscated his son’s winter coat during freezing temperatures because he was not wearing the jacket specified in the school uniform policy.
Under the policy, all pupils must wear a black Canterbury-branded jacket with the school’s logo emblazoned on it.
After his son Levon, 12, was admitted to hospital with flu in November, Mr Bayley claims he was told by medical staff that the school coat was not suitable.
When Levon returned to school, his parents allowed him to wear a thick North Face winter coat costing £240 on the website.
However, the school confiscated it on several occasions because it is not part of the school’s official uniform.
Parents have argued with teachers at Jesmond Park Academy that the policy should be more flexible to allow for more winter clothing.
Mr Bayley said: ‘Two medical experts, the doctor and the hospital, have said that the coat is just not warm enough and he should have a better coat on in this weather.
‘When the weather is mild I don’t mind sending him to school in the Jesmond Park Academy coat. But when it’s really cold I don’t want him to be susceptible to catching anything else.
‘But the school don’t seem to grasp it. They have this sort of Dickensian attitude towards the kids, and the kids and the parents will do as they say.’
Jesmond Park Academy’s uniform policy, listed on the school website, states: ‘The only coat that may be worn is the Jesmond Park Academy coat and/or micro fleece. This school coat must be worn between October half term and February half term on the journey to and from school.’
Mr Bayley, from Forest Hall, describes the coat as a ‘very thin fleece with a wafer thin liner jacket which the fleece zips into’.
After snow fell across the region on Monday and Thursday, Mr Bayley sent Levon to school in a warm padded winter coat, which the school then confiscated for the rest of the day.