Angry parents have criticised a school after senior teachers sent home children wearing their Air Cadets uniforms on Armistice Day because it breached its uniform rules.
Pupils at Smestow Sports Academy, in Wolverhampton, had donned their blue uniforms in honour of Britain’s fallen soldiers on Monday.
Aman Nanglu, 15, Rezanne Willis, 16, and Elle Phillips, 15, made the decision to pay their own tribute while the nation fell silent during the two minute act of remembrance.
But they were stunned when teachers threw them out of class just after 11am – because the cadet uniforms broke school rules.
They were told by headteacher Martyn Morgan they could only return once they had changed out of the military attire and into their school uniform.
Today the families of the schoolchildren – who are all members of the 1047 City of Wolverhampton Air Training Corps squadron – branded the decision ‘disrespectful.’
Elle’s father, Paul Phillips, 47, from Merry Hill, West Midlands, was contacted at 11.30am by the school to inform him his daughter would be leaving lessons at midday.
The project engineer said: ‘I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. In fact, I am proud that Elle wanted to wear it.
‘She is a very good student and she feels strongly about it.
‘We thought it was just respectful to show it wouldn’t just be a normal day.
‘We wanted to show it does actually matter.’
Aman’s mother Meena Kumari, 45, added: ‘I’m utterly shocked.
‘These youngsters take a lot of pride and they are on the right track.
‘Why can’t the school see why they are doing it?’
Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘You would think the school could make an exception on such a day – its not like they were going along in fancy dress.
‘The Air Cadets uniform is smart and always impeccable – they were not going to lessons dressed like scruffs.
‘They were raising awareness for a great cause.
‘It is a disgrace, you would think common sense would prevail on such an occasion as Armistice Day.’
Students were told they could not return to the school until they had changed back into their jumpers and ties.
Headteacher Martyn Morgan said it was school policy for children to wear their uniforms at all times.
He added: ‘They were not wearing school uniform.
‘They were asked to return to school once they had changed into school uniform.
‘As is our normal practice the parents of the students were contacted first and we made it explicit that they should return to school once changed.
‘This process is in line with the guidelines in the Department for Education publication ‘School Uniform A Guide for Headteachers, Governing Bodies, Academy Trusts, Free Schools and Local Authorities’.’
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