Mum furious after daughter banned from wearing long-sleeved jumper at school
Schoolgirl Mia has been banned from wearing a long sleeved jumper (Image: Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)
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A schoolgirl has been banned from wearing a long-sleeved jumper at school despite being "freezing" because all of the windows are being left open to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Stoke Damerel Community College in Plymouth is refusing to let young Mia wear the long sleeved pain black jumper because it is not in accordance with the college's uniform policy.
The teenager's mum has been left furious, and claims her daughter will be put into isolation and may even be excluded if she doesn't comply, Plymouth Live reports.
In a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, the college keeps the windows and doors open to keep air circulating freely in class.
The long-sleeved jumper her mum bought for Mia isn't allowed, the schools says, and instead students must wear short-sleeved jumpers if they want something to go over the top of their shirt.
Yet the parent says the short sleeve jumpers aren't suitable and she also doesn't understand why the school can't show more flexibility.
Mia has been left 'freezing' due to windows being left open in classrooms to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19
(Image: Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)
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The worried parent said: "As you can imagine, it's quite icy cold most days and the children are being left absolutely freezing. They're allowed to keep their blazers on.
"The schools do offer black jumpers, but they're sleeveless.
"So we provided my daughter with a long-sleeved, plain black, knitted V-neck school jumper which the school have banned her from wearing, as it's not one of their own.
"She's been told if she doesn't remove the jumper and comply, she'll have to be put into isolation which could then lead to her being excluded.
"She's going to lose valuable learning time, she's in Year 11 and has her exams in six months' time so I don't want that to happen. But her learning at the moment is being affected because she's absolutely freezing.
"She's very petite, she's the size of a 12-year-old really, and she does feel the cold.
"I understand the Covid-19 measures have to be in place for everyone's safety, but really they should be more concerned with the welfare of the children over their policies."
She continued: "There's no logos on it, no sequins, nothing like that on it, and it's from the Next school range, it's a proper school jumper.
"They've suggested instead she put a white t-shirt top under her own shirt, but I've said in order for her to still do up her school shirt that would have to be a very thin T-shirt and then that defeats the object.
"They said I'd raised some really good points, but if they allow one then they have to allow all."
Stoke Damerel Community College's executive principal, Anita Frier has addressed the situation and maintained that Mia has been treated fairly.
She said: "Our college has a school uniform policy, which includes a short sleeved shirt or long sleeved shirt, sleeveless jumper and a blazer. The student has chosen to wear a short-sleeved shirt.
"She chooses not to wear her blazer on some days. When she attended school wearing a jumper which was not part of the school uniform, she was asked not to wear it. We suggested she could wear a garment beneath her shirt and advised her to wear her blazer if she felt cold.
"On (November 11) the student asked our Head of Year 11 what would happen if she refused to remove the jumper, and was advised that ignoring instruction is against the school’s behaviour policies."
Stoke Damerel Community College maintain that Mia has been treated fairly
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The Principal added: "The college’s priority throughout this continuing pandemic is to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
"We have 1,700 people on site and are proud that we have successfully and fully returned to on-site learning since schools re-opened. We are following the Government’s guidelines on COVID-safe polices, including ventilation. We monitor the temperature of our classes to ensure that our rooms are not cold."
Mia's distressed mum fears the stress of it all could hamper her daughter's education.
She said she has GCSE exams coming up, with her first exam this December.
"It's not normal times at the moment," the mum said. "Everything's changed for the children, they're not used to sitting in classrooms with the windows and doors wide open, they're all suffering and being distracted from learning because they're so cold.
"It's not fair, the teachers are wrapped up warm wearing jumpers and cardigans, but it seems they're quite happy to leave the kids absolutely freezing and at risk of them falling ill.
"My daughter walks to school everyday. With the weather being what it is she already arrives to school most days soaked through, so sat there then with the cold air blowing on her all day is no good. She's going to fall ill and she's got her exams soon and I think they're being really unreasonable."
She added: "She literally has to wear one of their sleeveless jumpers just so she can return to lessons or she’ll be put in isolation permanently. We aren’t happy whatsoever but we’ve been forced into having to accept this because otherwise she will fail her exams by being removed from all lessons.
"Winter is on its way and it's only going to get worse for the students and many are already suffering, so I'm fuming the school won't allow me to meet my child's basic needs by keeping her warm in a long sleeve jumper under her blazer which will also prevent her from becoming unwell."
The principal of the school has confirmed that a short-sleeved jumper was offered to the girl free of charge and due to Mia's exams coming up in December, her mum says she will have to take this option.
"The college has given the student a sleeveless jumper free of charge, which she is wearing," Principal Frier said.
"She is also wearing her college blazer. We have spoken with her mother and I understand that her daughter will now be wearing a long sleeved shirt.
"The college’s priority throughout this continuing pandemic is to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. We have 1,700 people on site and are proud that we have successfully and fully returned to on-site learning since schools re-opened."
She added: "This is a very important year for our Year 11 students and we are working hard to ensure that they are in class and receiving the best face-to-face learning and guidance as they prepare for their exams."