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Brighton Journal | 2nd April 2020

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Sock Scandal: Vardean School places ban on coloured socks as part of uniform

Sock Scandal: Vardean School places ban on coloured socks as part of uniform
Hannah Midgley

Parents of children at local Brighton school Vardean, have started a petition against the school’s new ruling that all socks worn to school must be black.


The new uniform policy comes at a great shock to some children and parents who feel like the old ruling, that allowed students to wear socks of any colour and pattern should not have been changed. Feelings of dispute are shared particularly by those who believe Brighton is a liberated city, full of colourful individuals, and the sock ban stops children from expressing themselves.


Vardean School have claimed that the switch to black socks is so that children can conform to a uniform policy that is “more professional”. Very few schools allow students to wear socks or tights that do not adhere to school colours, so the ruling is not something of surprise.


Despite this, parents have started an online petition to get the ban revoked.


Ingrid Wakeling has a 14-year-old son, Josef, at the school. Angry at Vardean’s miscommunication on the new ruling, she started a petition that has so far received 152 signatures.


The petition reads: “Neither students nor parents have been consulted about this addition and we feel current uniform policy is already serviceable and often too restrictive. “


Ingrid also feels that the children are being denied the opportunity to express themselves, claiming; “Students individuality is a key asset of the school and suppressing this through further rules does not benefit the school as a whole. Teachers time is valuable and should not be wasted on policing small uniform infringements. “


Another parent, Alice Macnair, wrote an open letter to the school, saying: “The policy is unduly strict, without clear rationale. This teaches the children that an essentially arbitrary set of rules about appearance should take precedence over comfort, health, creative expression and autonomy.”


There are also concerns that by adding specific socks to the price of an already costly uniform, that parents may struggle to keep us with the costs of uniform requirements, particularly as socks may need replacing more often.


At this current time, Vardean School have shown no signs of releasing the current ban.


Featured image: Murielle

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