Schoolgirl, 14, is left ‘humiliated’ after teachers deem her trousers too tight and threaten to put her in isolation unless she wears elasticated ‘Bridget Jones’ style pair
- Teachers accused Francesca Negus, 14, of breaching the uniform policy at Dereham Neatherd High School in Norfolk by wearing her trousers too tight
- They offered her ‘Bridget Jones’ elasticated trousers – or the option of isolation
- Her mother Theresa said the school was ‘picking for picking’s sake’
- It comes after pupils protested over a school’s gender neutral uniform policy
The school said 14-year-old Francesca Negus’s trousers contravened its policy
A mother has hit out at teachers for ‘picking for picking’s sake’ after they left her teenage daughter ‘humiliated’ at school because of school uniform trousers they claimed were too tight.
Francesca Negus, 14, was ordered to choose between being placed in isolation or agreeing to put on a replacement pair of ‘Bridget Jones’ elasticated trousers from the school office.
Teachers at Dereham Neatherd High School in Norfolk ruled the teen’s trousers were too tight and broke the uniform rules at.
But mother Theresa Lee, 51, from Shipdham near Dereham, said Francesca’s trousers were perfectly appropriate – and warned the school risked making young women children worry and become anxious over their body image.
she also pointed out the replacement stretchy elasticated pair offered by the school were not tailored – in contravention of its own uniform policy.
Ms Lee said: ‘I agree with school uniform, but I think they are just picking for picking’s sake to lord power over the kids’ she said.
‘If they are going to be so picky, maybe the school should start providing it because children are being punished for the way that their parents have interpreted the uniform policy – they have not gone out and bought it themselves.
‘It is such a pathetic thing to have a go at a schoolchild for.
‘Why chastise them for something so minimal and meaningless?
Theresa Lee, left, said Francesca’s trousers were were appropriate and warned the school risked making young women children worry and become anxious over their body image.
What the Dereham Neatherd High School uniform policy says:
‘From September through until the Easter holidays full uniform is expected and must be worn at all times.
‘We have a gender free uniform at Neatherd, students must wear from the following items: […]
Dereham Neatherd High School
‘Either a plain navy or black tailored knee length skirt. Please ask Birds to check for skirt length and add Neatherd emblem badge
‘Plain navy, charcoal or black full length trousers that touch the top of the foot (socks should not be visible)
‘Either thick dark tights or flesh coloured sheer tights, or appropriate socks
‘NO figure hugging, tight, skinny trousers, skirts or leggings.’
‘I had a problem with her school skirt last year, because like many girls she is slim with long legs.
‘What the length of a skirt has to do with her ability to learn I have no idea.
‘The way the teachers are dealing with it is degrading and humiliating and it is making the girls more body-conscious.
‘I think they are doing the children harm mentally. It is no wonder some of them don’t want to go to school.’
The school was founded in 1912 and is now a co-ed comprehensive with 1,227 pupils aged 11 to 16.
The head – former geography teacher Christian Smith, said: ‘In support of parents, school uniform removes the daily question of what to wear to school and allows children to focus on their education.
‘Some children are actually disadvantaged when a school does not have a uniform as they may not be able to financially keep up with the latest trends and fashions that are found on the high street.
‘For this reason, uniform can increase the self-esteem and confidence of pupils by removing uncertainty from their day and showing that they proud of the school which they attend.
‘To further support parents we have communicated with families before the summer, and again on Friday of last week, with regards to uniform expectations so that parents can purchase uniform with the confidence that it is correct.
Headteacher Christian Smith said that ‘to further the education of children’ the school swaps their clothing
‘Sometimes a child can get it wrong but to further the education of children, we ensure the child has the opportunity to swap the piece(s) of clothing that do not conform with the policy or for a parent to quickly resolve the issue by bringing the correct uniform.
‘It is the last resort that a child would then continue their studies away from their normal teaching group.’
It comes after a protest last week outside the gates of Priory School in Lewes, Sussex, when the school banned girls in skirts from entering because it had introduced a ‘gender neutral’ uniform policy.
Girls wanted the right to wear skirts, many pupils objected to the environmental waste of discarded uniforms, and parents howled about the £110 cost of the new clothes.
Piers Morgan tweeted the school, where he attended sixth form, should allow girls to be girls and boys to be boys.