FURIOUS parents have launched an internet protest group against the ‘oppressive’ uniform rules at The Littlehampton Academy.
The move follows in the wake of wide-spread outrage from parents and students after more than 30 children were sent home from the school on the first day of term last Wednesday, for breaching the academy’s uniform regulation.
So far, more than 330 people have signed up to the Facebook protest group ‘Parents Against TLA’ which was set up last week.
Zandra Phillips, of Shopfield Close, Rustington, said she was furious when her daughter Amber, 15, was sent home for having a nose stud and a school skirt made of the wrong material.
“It’s so petty,” Mrs Phillips said. “Amber had a nose stud put in over the summer holidays and it’s only small.
“So to be taken out of school, on day one of the most important year of her life is bonkers!
“It’s ridiculous. This is the first day of term. Why can’t there be a bit more leniency in the policy. I wouldn’t mind if they sent a letter to me first, telling me about it.”
She added: “My daughter told me the academy was more like North Korean prison camp than a school in Littlehampton.”
However, principal Steve Jewell said the school had sent a detailed letter too all parents, at the end of last term, informing them of the uniform policy.
He said the academy’s stringent policy was part of his plan to improve standards at the school, which last month recorded some of its best A-level and GCSE marks.
Mr Jewell said: “Yes, we are working hard to ensure that uniform is more consistent than last year. We worked very hard last summer to give fair warning to students and parents.
“Parents know only too well how their children are quick to complain that things are unfair.
“In terms of uniform we are trying to be fair to 1,500 students and there are bound to be some inconsistencies and difficult moments.
“We are very proud of our students’ appearance and behaviour and look forward to taking visitors round.”
Mr Jewell explained he was acting in accordance with the uniform policy dictated by the Academy Council, a body of volunteers who occasionally inspect the school.
He added parents were welcome to speak to him about the uniform policy.