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A headteacher has asked her pupils to wear slippers at school to prevent the ''beautiful'' new carpets from being ruined by muddy feet.
A letter sent to parents of children at Barncroft primary school in Havant, Hampshire, requested that children take off their outdoor shoes on arrival in the morning.
The letter states:
''We were hoping to keep our beautiful carpets looking clean and bright for as long as we can.
''We are asking that children remove their shoes in school - if you would like to provide them with a pair of sensible slippers that would be lovely, otherwise they are free to wear their socks.
''Shoes or wellies will always be worn outside. We thank you for your co-operation.''
Steve Smith, father of three children at the school, told the Portsmouth News:
''It's completely absurd.
''The school wants to preserve the carpets but it's running the risk of our children stubbing their toes or stepping on something sharp like a drawing pin and injuring themselves.''
Headteacher Liz Blake said that the school had not banned shoes but had simply requested for pupils and staff to wear slippers.
''Please note there is no ban on shoes in Barncroft primary school.
''We are offering the children the opportunity to wear slippers in class to protect the carpets.
''However this is purely optional and is by no means compulsory and no child would be made to remove their shoes.
''The children do change into outdoor shoes when they go out to play.
''All members of the school community have the option of wearing slippers if they so desire.
''No parent has been asked to remove their shoes and nor would they be at any time.''