School refused to support Children in Need after 'members of staff were reduced to tears' by parents

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Parents have slammed a school's "army inspection" after it ordered children to remove anything in support of Children in Need.

Officials at St White's Primary School said it made the ruling after staff suffered abuse over a clothing row at last year's event.

The school is standing by their decision. Picture: Googlemaps

The school is standing by their decision. Picture: Googlemaps

This meant this year youngsters were asked to attend classes in full uniform and without any Children in Need-branded items - but not everyone got the message.

Several pupils still wore items sporting the charity's well-known spotty theme - leading to teachers giving them a dressing-down at the school in Cinderford, Glos.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said their child told them that some students wearing pin badges and headbands had to remove them.

They said: "Apparently loads of them hadn't seen the email that went round. It only went around a few days before.

"My youngest, who is in reception, told me that one of her friends was sad because she had to remove a hair band.

"Other children were made to remove pin badges, which is a bit extreme."

Another parent, who also asked to talk unnamed, said: "I got told that it was a bit like an army inspection going on, in each classroom and individually taking badges and hair bobbles and head bands.

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"I don't think that should have been done, personally. I'm quite disgusted at the school really, that they would do that to children and remove the badges and the headbands.

"I'd understand if the child went in on non-uniform because they weren't participating - but to remove a badge and a headband? I don't agree with that.

"It should be a child's choice to wear a badge. They allowed them to wear a poppy."

Matt Bishop, chairman of the school's governing board, said in a statement that Children in Need was not one of the school's chosen charities this year and rejected claims that there was an "army style inspection".

He said: "There were no army style inspections taking place and no child, at any time, was forced to remove any item; if the child had items deemed not appropriate, they were simply asked to remove them".

The chairman added that the school did not wish to support Children in Need after "members of staff were reduced to tears" by parents last year.

Children were sent home after attending school in non-uniform even though they were instructed that all they could add to their uniform was something "spotty", causing a row.

Mr Bishop's full statement says: "The school sent a reminder message to all parents on November 12 stating that the PTA were holding a cake sale for Children in Need and had changed the date to November 14.

"At this time we reminded parents that we had decided not to hold any form of dress-down on November 15 for the event and that we required all children to wear their full uniform, without any additional items.

"The reasons we had chosen not to support Children in Need for this year were partly due to the fact that last year there was considerable abuse directed at the office staff from parents/carers over this particular charity day.

"Children were clearly informed that they could wear something spotty with their uniform, but some parents treated this as a full non-uniform day "Members of staff were reduced to tears because of the abuse that they experienced and this is unacceptable.

"The school's PTA felt that they would like to do something to support this good cause this year, and so the cake sale was agreed.

"It was made very clear to all stakeholders that Children in Need was not one of the charities the school has chosen to support this year and all stakeholders had been made aware that children would not be allowed to wear items sold by the PTA in school the following day.

"I am pleased to say that the majority of parents complied with the request not to send children to school in items relating to Children in Need.

"Further to this, there were no army style inspections taking place and no child, at any time, was forced to remove any item; if the child had items deemed not appropriate, they were simply asked to remove them and we explained that lots of children had purchased items to support Children in Need but were not wearing them as requested so it would not be fair if other pupils did.

"St White's School supports a number of charities over each academic year, and will continue to do so."