SCHOOL CAST AS VILLAIN IN UNIFORM ROW
Mum angry at having to take disabled daughter home after op
A FURIOUS Solihull mother says she has been forced to take her disabled daughter out of school – because a makeshift uniform to fit her body cast contravenes its dress code.
Lacey- Jai Stokes returned to Smiths Wood Primary Academy on Tuesday after undergoing a major operation, during which surgeons had to break her collar bone and shoulder.
But when the seven- year- old turned up, she was told that her clothes did not meet the school’s dress requirements.
Mum Chantel Stokes said she was left with no alternative but to take her daughter back home again.
Lacey- Jai has brachial palsy, a condition which affects the muscles, and recently underwent major surgery.
The operation has meant that she has to wear a cast, which covers her upper body and left arm, for the next 12 weeks.
Because the school’s required white polo shirt would not fit, her mum sent her in a T- shirt instead.
“I dressed my daughter the closest I could get to the school uniform, given the circumstances,” Chantel said.
Lacey- Jai wore the correct skirt and shoes but had to wear a different top, which had been cut around the arm hole and sewn along the sides, to cater for the cast.
“Anyone can see that I have had to adapt the top to make it fit around the cast,” added the 27- year- old mum from Smiths Wood.
“We have not done this to be awkward or to disobey any rules. Lacey is meant to wear a white polo shirt but it is short- sleeved and, because she has to wear a poncho instead of a coat at the moment, I wanted her to wear something long- sleeved underneath.
“My daughter has been left devastated by this and was crying her heart out at the school gates.
“She just wants to be at school, learning. She was crying the day before, begging to go back to school.
“Lacey has a disability and required this operation. She has this cast on for the next six weeks and then has to wear another one
for another six weeks. What is my daughter meant to do in the meantime?”
Headteacher John Talbot said: “We have a duty of care towards the children who attend this school and, as a result, we would not normally comment on any individual issues.
“However, we are aware that in this instance the parent has chosen to place this matter in the public domain and therefore we believe that, in this instance, a response is appropriate.
“To ensure the safety of the pupil and to enable them to return to the school as soon as possible, the school immediately undertook a risk assessment with the full co- operation of the parent to identify what was needed for a safe return. Part of the agreement for the pupil returning to school, was that they would wear the school uniform which the parent agreed to. Unfortunately, the parent then did not adhere to this agreement and when asked why, decided to take her child out of the school. The school has received no complaint to date.”
Lacey- Jai Stokes was taken home from Smiths Wood Primary Academy by her mum Chantel after a dispute over uniform