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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Pupils in cheap blazers isolated
The crackdown brought results
Children who turned up for school in the wrong blazers were put in isolation, parents have complained.

Parents of children at the Kings of Wessex Community School in Cheddar, Somerset, have protested to the Education Secretary Charles Clarke.

They say children were penalised for wearing blazers without the school badge which were cheaper than the official school blazer.

The head teacher says the action had the desired effect.

When pupils returned to school this autumn, 22 children were told their uniform was not suitable and were separated from the other children.

They were put in the school's learning unit, where they were not allowed to speak to each other.

Some children were wearing plain black blazers bought from a supermarket rather than one from the school outfitters, which has a badge and costs 26 rather than 17.

The badge is not available separately.

Their parents have since bought the standard uniform but have formed an action group called Fairplay.

They have complained to the local education authority and to Charles Clarke.

Parent Brian Corney said: "The school uniform rules are being enforced with ludicrous rigour.

"Some children were being taken out of lessons because they were wearing trousers that were the wrong shade of black, or because there were too many frills on their blouses.

"We are not upset about there being a school uniform, but the feeling is that we have moved on since the times of Charles Dickens."

Head teacher Chris Richardson said after four days all pupils were wearing proper uniform.

Many parents support the measures, he said, because the children look smart.

A statement from the Church of England school said: "With the introduction of the new school blazer, our students now look much smarter and have an improved sense of pride in their appearance.

"Many parents and members of the public have commented on how smart our students now look."

The school said financial help was being offered to parents who could not afford to buy the correct uniform.

Pupils walk out at uniform plan
07 Oct 03  |  Coventry/Warwickshire
School uniform costs vary widely
09 May 03  |  Education
School uniforms 'too expensive'
11 Jan 01  |  Education

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