School leaves pupils 'freezing' after confiscating coats without official logo

14 January 2022, 10:37 | Updated: 14 January 2022, 10:52

A school in Cheshire has banned un-branded coats on school grounds
A school in Cheshire has banned un-branded coats on school grounds. Picture: Getty Images/Google Maps
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

A school has been forced to defend its policy which demands kids only wear ‘official’ coats with a logo.

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A school in Cheshire has caused controversy after banning kids from wearing their own coats outside.

According to Cheshire Live, students at Bishop Heber in Malpas are only allowed to wear branded school anoraks on school grounds, which cost £25 each.

Parents have now slammed the rules, with one mum saying her son’s coat was confiscated by a teacher.

Bishop Heber school has sent an email about the rules
Bishop Heber school has sent an email about the rules. Picture: Google Maps

Calling the policy ‘ludicrous’, the anonymous woman told Cheshire Live her child has asthma and was left cold outside without his jacket.

Other parents have also come forward, calling the uniform rules 'extremely excessive'.

Head teacher David Curry has since defended the coat ban in an email to parents of Year 9 students.

According to reports, he said that allowing kids to wear their own jackets would ‘erode the great relationships we have with the students day to day’.

Seen by Cheshire Live, the email reads: "I’d like to take this opportunity to state that students are allowed to wear coats to and from school as some have long journeys and have to wait for parents and/or buses in the morning/afternoon.

Should schools allow children to wear their own coats?
Should schools allow children to wear their own coats? Picture: Getty Images

"However, once they arrive at school after registration period, we expect that an undergarment (e.g. vest/t-shirt/base layer) along with a school polo shirt, jumper, fleece and optional jacket (windcheater) would be sufficient to keep them warm and conversely allow them to take layers off when in warmer classrooms.

"In essence, the four/five layers of clothing we suggest should be more than ample to ask them to go out at break to get a blast of fresh air and withstand almost all weathers.

"We are fortunate at Heber that students almost always understand this and so usually it works really well.

"If we allowed non-uniform coats, we believe strongly that it would erode the great relationships we have with the students day to day as inevitably students would push the boundaries and wear hoodies and other coats (inc. styles and colours) that undermines the high standards we have.

Bishop Heber has defended it's policy on coats [stock image]
Bishop Heber has defended it's policy on coats [stock image]. Picture: Getty Images

"More importantly, I also believe that it would become a status issue for us and possibly make some students feel vulnerable.”

Mr Curry added that many expensive branded coats can cost upward of £200-£300 and this could ‘put pressure on families to conform to a set of expectations that aren’t healthy, marginalising some students and putting at risk that sense of belonging’.

He added: "I hope our rationale makes sense and that our drive to ensure every child can be the best they can be is central to the decision."

Heart.co.uk has reached out to Bishop Heber for comment.

This comes after an Act of Parliament was passed this year which is set to reduce high school uniform costs.

Coming into force from this September, the policy has been supported by Cheshire MP Mike Amesbury who wants to reduce financial pressure on struggling families.

Making a statement on Bishop Heber’s policy, Mr Amesbury said: “Schooling should [be] about a child’s ability to do not their family’s ability to pay.

"I agree with the principle of school uniform but would encourage Bishop Heber to get ahead of the game by adopting a more reasonable approach in its policy, with greater emphasis on affordability and less emphasis on insisting that every item must incorporate school branding.”