A girl was “really upset” at being given a detention for “not wearing a jumper” under her blazer when she arrived at school during the London heatwave. The 12-year-old’s family are “disgusted” at the “completely inappropriate” decision on a day when it was 28C by 9am but the school says it is preparing pupils for the “professional expectations of the world of work”.
Ruby Reid said she was told off at the gates of Rivers Academy West London and given a breaktime detention, leaving her mum Carrie-anne and stepdad David Vickers fuming and claiming teachers were wearing summer outfits at the time. The school on Tachbrook Road in Feltham has since claimed rules were relaxed later in the day after Ruby’s arrival – but despite that she claims she still ended up in detention.
Stepdad David, 39, said: “Ruby was really upset – she’s only young and doesn’t have much of a voice, so she just had to go with it. It was 28 degrees on Thursday morning and got even higher throughout the day as well.
READ MORE: Boys go to school in skirts after detention for wearing PE kits
(Image: © David Vickers / SWNS)
“It would have been incredibly easy for someone to pass out in that temperature – or even lose their life if they got too dehydrated. I couldn’t believe it – I phoned up the school when she got home and was told it’s the ‘head’s policy’ and they needed to enforce it.
“The next day they weren’t threatening breaktime detentions, but full 90 minute detentions instead – and the head was stood at the gates enforcing it himself. I can’t see any logic in it, but hearing from other parents, apparently this school has a history of this. It’s just completely inappropriate.”
Ruby wasn’t wearing her jumper when being stopped at the gate on Thursday (September 7), because she was already hot, she said. The school claims the rules were relaxed later that day at 10am – but Ruby says she and several other students still ended up in detention at breaktime for not wearing their jumpers at the gates.
When she returned home her parents were furious and rang the school to complain. The following day the academy’s head, Luke Homer, was stood at the gates, they claim. This time, Ruby claims she was told she’d get a 90-minute detention if she didn’t wear both.
She put both on because stepdad David said Ruby is “quiet” and “if an adult tells her to do something, she’ll do it.” The school denies the 90 minute threat was issued, and claims no pupils were told they’d have to wear jumpers and blazers “all day”.
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Rivers Academy’s website states it has “the very highest expectations in terms of uniform, behaviour, attendance and punctuality.” David has now begun the process of lodging an official complaint, he said.
He said: “I don’t know what the reason is – I don’t know if the rule is intended to cause harm. But in severe cases it could even have led to lives lost. There are many good things about this school, but the uniform policy isn’t one of them.”
Carrie-anne said: “I felt angry, shocked and disgusted when I heard about it. The school know these children are young and vulnerable, my daughter was essentially punished just for not wanting to put her jumper on.
“It’s beyond belief, it feels draconian. It’s not an isolated incident and it’s strange nothing is being done – if we have to be that voice to speak up for change then we will be.”
(Image: © David Vickers / SWNS)
A spokesperson for Rivers Academy said: “At Rivers Academy we believe that our Academy uniform provides a sense of belonging and self-worth, which are central to our guiding principles. Our students take pride in their appearance and we hope that by instilling these values, we are preparing them for the professional expectations of the world of work.
“We asked students to arrive in full uniform on the day in question but by 10am, in accordance with our protocol, we’d informed them that the Academy had moved to a ‘no jumper day.’ This meant that all pupils could remove jumpers and blazers in the classroom so as to be able to learn comfortably in the unseasonable heat.
“No students were told on either day by the Principal or any other member of staff that they’d have to wear jumpers and blazers all day and there is no 90 minute sanction for uniform infringements. Our guidelines apply to staff who lead by example. Staff members were also invited to remove jackets from 10am. It is possible that visitors to the school after that time would encounter staff without jackets.
“Uniform is a key discipline. Our policy and our expectations are clearly set out for all pupils joining the Academy. In instances where uniform requirements are breached we are able to lend brand new or freshly laundered items which will allow students to attend lessons.”
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