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Angry parents slam school after ‘requiring bows to be cut off shoes’

Angry parents slam school over its tough new uniform rules after pupils are told to ‘cut the bows off their brand new £40 shoes’ or face being kept in ‘isolation’ as punishment

  • Walbottle Campus criticised by some parents who say its new policy is too strict
  • Parents furious at  having to pay for new shoes after their children were told off
  • School says parents were warned about uniform change in an email and a text 
  • Are you a parent whose child has been affected by the new uniform code? Email [email protected] or call 0202 3615 3874 

Furious parents have slammed a school after claims pupils were told to cut bows from their shoes – or face punishment.

Walbottle Campus in Newcastle was criticised by some parents who say its new uniform policy is overly strict.  

Mother-of-two Stacey Keltie claims her daughters were collared by teachers over their £40-a-pair black shoes topped with what she feels is a tasteful bow. 


Walbottle Campus in Newcastle has been criticised by some parents for its new uniform policy that doesn’t allow bows on shoes. Pictured is head Kerry Lord and a text to parents after pupils turned up in prohibited shoes

She said: ‘Because they have the bow on, the school want me to buy them new shoes by Monday and if not the school said they will provide them.

‘There is nowhere to buy plain black shoes that don’t have anything on, and for them to expect me to pull out more money is ridiculous. Shoes do not affect my children’s ability to learn.’

Several others said their children have been threatened with ‘isolation’ unless they remove bows.

Another claimed their child’s name was taken – even though they had a Vivienne Westwood design on their feet.

On Walbottle’s website, the school’s dress code prohibits ‘shoes with bows or other extraneous adornments’ while brands like Adidas, Nike and Converse are also black-listed.

Some parents say they received a text message when their kids returned to school stating their shoes ‘do not comply’ with the policy. 

One parent claimed their child’s Vivienne Westwood-designed shoes had been taken. Pictured is a file photo of Westwood’s ‘Melissa’ school shoes, which cost around £100

The school admits ‘names were taken’ of pupils they believe fell foul of the strict dress code

‘Any adornment such as bows or strings will need to be removed,’ it warned.

One mother said she vowed to keep sending her daughter to school in the banned shoes – branding the saga ‘a joke’.

‘I for one will not be purchasing a new pair,’ raged the mother, who asked not to be named.

Are you a parent whose child has been affected by the new uniform code? 

Email [email protected] or call 0202 3615 3874 

‘My daughter will be wearing the shoes she has as I found it very difficult to purchase a pair of plain black school shoes, as not even the smallest string bow is acceptable.

‘I’ve spoken to another parent who has been asked to cut the bow off – it is a joke and also extremely difficult to find a pair of shoes that a teenage child would actually wear as most shoes have detail on them in most shops we went in too.’

Another mother, who wouldn’t be named said she was particularly ‘annoyed’ – as her child wore her offending shoes last year without question.

‘What difference does it make to their education and learning?’ she stated.

‘Their uniform costs enough without having to pay for another pair of shoes, just so my child won’t be put in isolation.’

The secondary has previously sparked parent anger over its crackdown on uniform- specifically shoes – but insists it is to maintain ‘high standards’.

On Walbottle’s website, the school’s dress code prohibits ‘shoes with bows or other extraneous adornments’ while brands like Adidas, Nike and Converse are also black-listed

A spokesman said parents had been warned by letter and then a reminder text than the uniform policy had been amended.

‘The full school uniform was checked as students arrived in school today and the vast majority of students had the correct uniform.

‘Those students who did not have the correct uniform or other items as set out in the policy were sat in the gym until names were taken and then went to their lessons.

‘We are currently working with parents to remind them of the school uniform policy and it is anticipated that any incorrect items will be replaced by Monday.’

The 1,590 pupil school was branded inadequate for the first time ever in a damning Ofsted report earlier this year – after inspectors heard ‘racist and homophobic language’.

However, head teacher Kerry Lord insisted staff were working hard in ‘addressing issues’.

Are you a parent whose child has been affected by the new uniform code? Email [email protected] or call 0202 3615 3874

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