Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stantonbury Campus uniform plans anger parents

Plans to introduce a uniform at a Milton Keynes school for the first time in its near 40-year history have angered some parents.

Stantonbury Campus will introduce it for years seven to nine, from September.

The school said it will expect every student to dress well to "show a smart attitude to learning".

However, those against the plans say it will change the school to a "run of the mill symmetrical secondary".

Bosses explained they had acted because primary school heads had told them parents were often concerned there was no uniform and that, because of this, some chose to send their children to other secondary schools.

'Strong support'

Pupils in years 10 and 11 are also to be told their dress code will become more restrictive, although they will not need to wear a specific uniform.

The school is one of the largest comprehensives in the UK providing education for over 2,500 students.

Founded by teacher Geoff Cooksey, who died earlier this year, the school opened in 1974 and is described by parents as a place that "supports individuality".

Mr Cooksey did not believe in school punishment and the decision not to introduce a uniform was designed to remove conflict between pupils.

However, following a consultation with parents and students, which received nearly 500 responses, governors decided have taken the step to change things.

The school said the responses "showed strong support for the change, with even higher levels of support from parents of children in Years 5 and 6 in partner primary schools".

'Removed barriers'

In a joint statement following the meeting, chairs of governors Hilary Denny and Charles Rogers said they had been "delighted by the level of response".

"It is vital that Stantonbury stays at the heart of its community and listens to the voices of parents," they said.

But Shahnaz Hussain, a former student, with two children currently at the school, said the former ethos had "removed barriers".

"I, and a number of others, believe this is just the first step in changing Stantonbury from what was a school that offered a rounded education supporting individuality into a uniformed, run-of-the mill symmetrical secondary school," she said.

"The relationship between student and teacher is crucial to helping them succeed in their goals and by levelling the field, by using first names and casual dress, it enables the teacher to establish this meaningful relationship which supports student learning."

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