The Head Teacher of Patcham High School in Brighton has told pupils they have to wear school regulation jacket (pictured)
Pupils of a Brighton school are being forced to fork out £32 on an approved coat if they want to stay warm this winter.
Patcham High School has banned pupils from wearing all high street-bought jackets which could prove to be a cheaper alternative.
More than a thousand children attend the school but many of them are rejecting the outerwear and just wearing jumpers despite plummeting temperatures.
Britain suffered it’s coldest spell of the year as temperatures fell to -13C but children continued to play out without a coat.
Pupils have been told that they must wear the school coat as part of their uniform when walking between buildings.
Parent’s of the children have called the ban ‘ridiculous’ as it stops pupils wearing a coat that they feel comfortable in.
Kerri Barnes-Dredge, 41, told The Sun it is pointless buying a coat as her Year 11 daughter is leaving in a few months.
She added: ‘My daughter has a hacking cough and this will make it worse, it’s freezing.’
‘The kids can wear other coats to the gates but if they’re on show on school grounds, their coats are confiscated until the end of the day.
‘If there are fire alarms, they’re not allowed to put a coat on unless it’s the school one, and that has happened while it’s been cold.
‘If her coat was confiscated, my daughter wouldn’t have time to collect it until the end of the day, when she has to be at the bus stop on time – otherwise I’d have to drive and collect her.
Mum-of-two Natasha Smith, 29, said: ‘It’s a joke, my daughter freezes every morning because she is not allowed to wear her own warm coat.’
Parents also took to social media to express their outrage that the school had banned coats not bought from the school shop.
Elaine McCullock said: ‘What a ridiculous policy.
‘Money is tight for all parents, so to buy multiple coats is too much to ask.
‘The coat they wear will not have any impact on their education, which is what they are at school for.’
The pupils were warned that any coats that aren’t approved will be confiscated if they are worn on school property.
Kate Cohen added: ‘My children go here and I’ve had to buy them the school coats.
‘It’s ridiculous as they needed new coats anyway for outside school as they won’t wear the school ones out.
‘It’s cost me over £120 for four coats.’
Samantha Fellingham said: ‘I think the head of Patcham needs to re-review this ludicrous idea.
‘What parent can afford two coats – one for school and one outside of school?
‘Maybe if that is the case he makes arrangements for the children to be equipped with his idea and the school pays towards it (can’t see that happening).
The school sent out letters to parents of the children in July this year to explain that only coats featuring the school emblem should be worn to school
‘Also if the teachers don’t agree with the idea of having the school coats then what hope is there that the idiot of a headmaster can make this decision?
‘No other schools do this so why should he dictate this?
‘His head needs his head looking at, I’d like to see him in the school coat..’
Speaking to The Argus a 40-year-old mother with two children at the school , who did not want to be named, said: ‘I have a problem because they all have winter coats at home.
‘Most children already have their own winter coats and clearly they’re not going to where a school coat out of school hours.
Head Teacher John Mckee said he has spoken to many parents who are supportive of the new regulation jackets
‘I’m a complete supporter of school uniform policy, and I could understand if they were banning branded trousers, handbags or earrings, but the coat ban is ridiculous.
‘If you go to the school at 2.50pm when they leave school, 90 percent of the kids are not wearing a coat and it is freezing.
‘I sympathise with making sure everyone feels equal in school but they are still coming in £100 trainers. Coats generally aren’t branded. I know my children wouldn’t care about a North Face jacket, they probably are more likely to buy one from Primark.’
The schools retailer offers a range of three different types of jacket costing from £14.90 for a lightweight rain coat to £32 for a padded jacket.
A reporter from The Argus found that children could be seen leaving school shaking from the cold as temperatures fell to 2C yesterday in Patcham.
Speaking to The Argus Head Teacher of Patcham High School John Mckee, said: ‘They are allowed to wear their coats to school, it is only when they are on the school grounds that they need to put their school coat on. If they choose to wear a non-school coat, they can put that in their bags when they arrive.
‘The reason we like them to wear the school coats is because of equality. We are trying to make the school uniform equitable, we don’t want disadvantaged children to feel they cannot wear any coat in and around school because it isn’t a designer label. It is something Ofsted were quite happy with.
Pupils are rejecting the ban and instead walking to school without a coat in freezing temperatures
‘I’ve spoken to lots of parents and they have been quite supportive about it. But there are a few that don’t want to buy the coat, which is fine, it just means losing an option for their child within the school grounds to wear a coat.
‘I certainly would send my child to school in a coat . I think a lot of parents would say ‘don’t leave the house without a coat on’.
‘It has always been a rule at school, they just now have an option for something else. We talked about it at a governors’ meeting and they will write to people to further endorse it to make sure parents understand why we are doing it.’
He added that if payment was an issue for some families coats could be paid for in installments.