Comments on Pyjamas
My letter to the media about the pyjamas in schools issue:
Kate Chisholm, head teacher at Skerne Park Academy, was entirely justified and correct in her letter to parents, which politely requested them not to wear pyjamas when dropping off their children at school in the morning.
It is crucially important that school children understand the necessity of appropriate dress throughout their life and that is why at most schools the uniform is now mandatory. Dressing in a way that respects those we interact with is an important life skill and the head teacher is right to want support from the parents in teaching this.
Skerne Park Academy has been through a major transition in the last three years from a failing school to a ‘good’ school, as judged by Ofsted, under Ms Chisholm. Its report stated: “The head teacher has communicated high expectations to staff and initiated strong improvements since the academy opened and over time the quality of teaching is good.” The report also highlighted that “parents and pupils have positive attitudes towards school” and that “pupils’ attitudes to learning are positive.” Ms Chisholm and the leadership team have worked closely to develop the organisation, staffing, management and leadership of Skerne Park and to raise standards in the primary school. Among other improvements, the 406 -pupil school implemented a ‘back to basics’ style of teaching and it also has a new school uniform and logo.
Ms Chisholm has my complete and unreserved backing for her stance. It is right to insist on high standards and to aim to instil those high standards in our children. Today’s generation of schoolchildren will be looking for jobs in a competitive and unforgiving global race. Countries with an unrelenting focus on the quality and rigour of their education system will be the ones who win that race.
North East Chairman, Institute of Directors.