Dis­abled girl, 7, with cast back at school after uni­form up­set

Solihull News - - CAROLINE SPELMAN - AN­NETTE BELCHER an­nette. belcher@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

A DIS­ABLED girl who was sent home from school after be­ing told her makeshift uni­form con­tra­vened dress code has re­turned to the class­room.

Lacey- Jai Stokes, aged seven, suf­fers from brachial palsy and re­cently un­der­went a ma­jor op­er­a­tion, dur­ing which sur­geons had to break her col­lar­bone and shoul­der.

She re­turned to Smiths Wood Pri­mary Academy on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 31, with a makeshift uni­form cut to in­cor­po­rate her body- cast. But mum Chantel Stokes says her daugh­ter was told her clothes did not meet the school’s dress re­quire­ments – and she was forced to take her child back home.

The head teacher of the academy, John Tal­bot, al­legedly said wear­ing the cor­rect uni­form was a health and safety re­quire­ment. But fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the school on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 2, Lacey re­turned to school on Fri­day, Novem­ber 3.

“The whole point of this is that Lacey wants to be back at school as soon as pos­si­ble, so I am pleased with the out­come,” Chantel said. “She has gone through so much and she just wants to be back at school learn­ing.

“Lacey was re­turn­ing to school in the orig­i­nal top on Fri­day but I have agreed to find her a plain white top, for Mon­day.

“I will try my best to make sure Lacey is dressed in the cor­rect uni­form but her ed­u­ca­tion is my pri­or­ity.”

Lacey and Chantel have also re­ceived many mes­sages of sup­port from other par­ents on so­cial me­dia. Ta­nia Fa­gan wrote on Face­book: “Not sure how a T- shirt ef­fects ( sic) health and safety. The school should com­pro­mise. The child’s ed­u­ca­tion is what mat­ters at the end of the day.”

While Mel Gre­gory wrote: “My eight- year- old goes to school in what­ever he chooses to wear. To­day it’s green jog­ging bot­toms.

“My pri­or­ity is get­ting my child to school to be ed­u­cated. What he is wear­ing doesn’t af­fect his learn­ing abil­ity, if any­thing it makes him hap­pier as he is in some­thing com­fort­able. The staff should con­cen­trate on teach­ing, not de­cid­ing if a top is ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Head teacher Mr Tal­bot con­firmed an agree­ment had been reached with the par­ent that the pupil would be dressed in uni­form colours from Mon­day.

Lacey- Jai Stokes with her mum Chantelle

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