School gives 100 detentions to children for wrong clothes and using phones

Stevie said daughter Ava-Grace received three detentions (Picture: North News)

Angry parents have criticized a school after 100 children were given detention for breaking the rules.

Whitburn CofE in South Tyneside wrote to parents before half term warning them that there would be a clamp-down with same-day punishments being issued.

Despite this, when they returned from their holiday, some pupils were not wearing the correct uniform or used their mobile phones when they were told not to.

Principal John Crew said he wanted to bring back some discipline after standards slipped through the pandemic.

However, despite the notice given to them, some parents complained.

Ava Coutts, 13, received three detentions in a week for not having the correct uniform and wearing concealer.

Her mum Stevie Coutts, 32, said: ‘The situation has become ridiculous and I think the rules are too extreme.

‘I’ve had Ava on a waiting list for a dance class for a long time and she finally got a place on the Monday after half-term – the day she was given her detention.

‘I asked the school if I could change the date but they would not let her. ‘Students are also being given detentions if they are a minute or two late.I understand the importance of time but surely there has to be a little bit of leeway.’

Another parent said: ‘My daughter stood up and her shirt popped out and she was threatened with detention.

‘This was not deliberate and is something which can happen. My other daughter was given a detention for having a skirt above the knee.

Dated: 09/03/2022 Whitburn Church of England Academy, in South Tyneside, where parents are angry after school detained around 100 children over breaches of uniform policy.  Pictured is Ava-Grace Coutts, 13, who was detained three times in one week over uniform breaches.  See story North News

The school will not allow skirts above the knees (Picture: North News)

You’re not talking a mini-skirt and she wore thick black tights. Every day she was given a detention. ‘

Claire Storey, 33, whose daughter Amelia, 14, attends the school, added: ‘I just think the punishments are far too harsh. Children grow and we are halfway through the school year now and buying new uniform is an extra expense I can not really afford. ‘

Paul Airey, 44, whose daughters Izobella and Molly attend the school, feels greater consideration needs to be given for the implication for parents.

He said: ‘I think the clampdown is bizarre as the school has always had a tight uniform policy.

‘Parents need more notice. My wife is a nurse and she had to leave in the middle of a 13-hour shift to pick up our daughter who’d been given a detention. ‘

Principal Mr Crowe said the school was’ returning to many of our previous rules and routines to ensure our standards and expectations are as high as they have always been ‘in the aftermath of the pandemic.’

He added: ‘We are sure that most students will respect the reintroduction of these school rules as we strive to return to normal school life. Many other secondary schools are doing the same.

‘I’m afraid students not adhering to our rules are being asked to attend a one-hour detention after-school on the same day as the misdemeanor and this is common practice in many schools.

‘When this happens, parents and carers are notified, and we advised them at the end of last term that detentions would be imposed on students failing to meet the rules on uniform.

‘During the pandemic, we allowed students to have their mobile phones on their person, with permission granted for them to make use of them in social times, in or outside of the building.

‘As we return to normal, we strongly feel the time is right for us to ask students to abide by our pre-pandemic rule of either not bringing them to school, or using them only during designated times.’

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