Governors not told of uniform change
Criticism levelled at school for lack of consultation
A PARENT is disgruntled after discovering that governors had not been properly consulted regarding a change in policy on school uniform.
Robin Walters found out through a Freedom of Information request that Dr Challoner’s High School, in Little Chalfont, had not raised the subject of a school uniform change with governors. The change made the sixth form school uniform smarter, including tailored jackets and trousers and was enforced at the beginning of this academic year.
Mr Walters said: “The Department of Education say that school policy should be discussed by the board of governors. The governing body should have control over what is going on in the school.”
The students organised a petition in July against the change, which 700 students and parents signed.
Mr Walters added: “The question of what policy should be followed has not been discussed by the governors at all. Instead, once it became apparent that there was significant opposition, and after publication of our open letter, governors were belatedly asked to agree to the new policy by email.
“This is not a valid method for the governors to make a decision; their articles of association make very clear, in detail, how decisions are supposed to be made. It equates to unaudited and unevidenced decisionmaking by diktat.”
In an open letter to the school in July, Mr Walters said: “Before it is too late, we ask that you urgently review both the new dress code and the procedures that led to its imposition without prior discussion.”
In a letter to parents on July 22, headteacher Ian Cooksey said: “We believe we have settled on an approach which is less prescriptive than some other schools, but still ensures that the girls are dressed in a smart fashion.
“I appreciate that there will not be unanimous approval of our approach; we are unlikely to please everyone on this issue.”
In response to our request, Dr Challoner’s made no further comment.