Parents’ anger after Northampton school brings in new shoe policy

A banned Clarks Air Suffolk shoe
A banned Clarks Air Suffolk shoe

A Northampton school has been criticised over a new uniform policy that has seen children’s shoes deemed fine in July now banned.

Caroline Chisholm School in Wootton emailed parents last Wednesday to clarify its uniform policy, and included a guideline list of acceptable and unacceptable shoes.

But some mums have complained that this was their first sight of the policy and, they say, the short notice means they have already bought new shoes during the holidays that are now on the banned list.

Others have pointed out that shoes that are in good condition and were acceptable last year have now been ruled out overnight.

Sue Hudson, whose 15-year-old son fell foul of the policy this week with a pair of Clarks Air Suffolk, said: “The school issued him with an infringement note and said he has 14 days to get new ones.

“But I can’t see what is wrong with the £50 pair he got only earlier this year. They were fine seven weeks ago and now suddenly they aren’t.”

Caroline Chisholm School said it would lend the Year 11 boy some acceptable shoes until he grows out of his current ones, by which time he would have been ready for a new pair anyway.

They will also reimburse parents who bought banned shoes “in good faith”.

The email to parents says: “To assist with purchasing the appropriate school shoes for the academic school year, we have attached a list of styles which are acceptable and unacceptable.

“All of our students will be held accountable for wearing proper, acceptable school shoes. Any shoe resembling a trainer will not be acceptable.”

David James, the recently installed principal, said some parents whose child did not have acceptable shoes had been reimbursed for a new pair with funds the school had access tom although this is not money that could have been spent on education).

He said: “One of the things I noticed when I visited last year, and this has been backed up by parents, is concern over lack of consistency with uniforms.

“I believe the school should be business-like and have high standards and that includes presentation, which is important throughout life.

“Some shoes are indistinguishable from trainers and once you start alowing them, you have a grey area that makes it difficult for teachers to make a judgement.”

The guideline list of banned and acceptable shoes at Caroline Chisholm School are below.

Boys’ Shoes

Clark’s Retailers Acceptable Styles

· Corris Step

· Deon Style/Step

· Bermon Lane

· Desertland Jnr

· Hoxton Chap/Walk

· Deaton

· Zayden Go

· Kooru Step

· Tam Go GTX

Clark’s Retailers Unacceptable Styles

· Jackspring

· Kensal Race

· Air Suffolk

· Harlem Spin

· Chad Rail Jnr

· Loxton Way

· Stomp Rex

· Holbay Go

Clark’s Retailers Acceptable Styles

· Keeler WalkMen’s Shoes

· Banfield Walk

· Penton Limit

· Forbes Over/Step

· Bradley Fall

· Gosworth Over/Step

· Francis Flight

· Gabwell Step

· Swift Turn/Mile

Clark’s Retailers Unacceptable Styles

· Stanton Walk

· Rawson Pace

· Ripway Path

· Randle Walk

· Denner Race

· Rawson Line

· Denner Cross

· Frontside Flow/Spin


Next Retailers Acceptable Styles

· Cleat Loafers

· Black Comfort Leather Slippers

· Black Leather Brogue Lace-Ups

· Black Square Toe Loafers

· Black Forever Comfort Fringe

· Black Leather Tassel Loafers

New Look Acceptable Styles

· Black Snakeskin Textured Panel Pointed

· Black Comfort Snakeskin Texture Strap

· Monochrome Patent Tassel Front Loafer

· Black Patent Chunky Loafers

· Black Chunky Lace-Up Brogues

· Black Embossed T-Bar Brogues