Islington school sends pupil home for wearing wrong shoes ‘because they are health and safety risk’

Opponents argued the school will not be inclusive. File picture: PA Wire/Chris Radburn

Opponents argued the school will not be inclusive. File picture: PA Wire/Chris Radburn - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A school has been accused of lacking common sense by a parent who claims his daughter was sent home for wearing ballet pumps – because of health and safety.

Patrick Coogan’s daughter Georgina, 14, was one of 50 pupils dismissed by the City of London Academy Islington for failing to meet its stringent uniform code on the first day of term on Monday. It is the second clothing crackdown in as many terms, after some 70 students including Georgina were sent home in September.

Mr Coogan, 65, a retired film editor of Clerkenwell Close, Clerkenwell, said: “She was wearing the full uniform and her shoes have been fine since September, but now they have changed their minds. A teacher told me the children now have to fully cover their feet for health and safety reasons in case they drop something.

“It’s ridiculous and there’s no common sense. I can’t believe she is losing education time because of this.”

Mr Coogan also said parents were not told their children had been sent home and he feels the school, in Prebend Street, Islington, is failing in a duty of care.

The academy, which posted some of the worst GCSE results in the country in 2011, says its strict uniform code is helping to drive up standards. A spokesman claimed it is one of the measures that contributed to an Ofted report in November that saw the school’s rating upgraded to “good”.

He said students have been told ballet pumps are not acceptable, and that they are clearly “not appropriate footwear for the winter months”. The 50 pupils were sent home to change and come back, he added.