School defends branding ban and dismisses intimidation claims

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: St John's C of E School has banned Kickers branding St John's C of E School has banned Kickers branding

A headteacher has defended a ban on branded shoes and rejected claims of heavy-handed enforcement.

A group of parents of children at St John’s C of E School in Epping claimed their children were offered scissors by teachers to cut off coloured labels on Kickers shoes, or face further punishment.

They said this left the children upset by perceived intimidation from staff, while claiming there had been mixed messages on permitted footwear from the school, which has not banned branded bags or coats.

Headteacher George Yerosimou said the ban was in place to prevent pupils being exposed to peer pressure to buy certain brands.

“The majority of parents have complied with this by cutting the tags, covering them with masking tape or colouring them in,” he said.

“There may have been one or two situations where we got challenges from students and maybe on occasions they would have perceived that [intimidation].”

He also denied a pupil was instructed to keep quiet about a compensation payment made for his damaged shoes.

He said a cheque for £79.95 was given to the child because it was the only time the tags were removed at the Bury Lane site.

He added that pupils who consistently fail to adhere to school standards will face sanctions such as detention and, although he hoped it would not come to it, Mr Yerosimou did not rule out exclusion.

Comments (10)

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4:45pm Tue 24 Sep 13

Billy Yerache says...

I back the school on this. No doubt it is over-subscribed by yummy parents who expect high standards from the schoool and entrust their kids into their care each day. Yet they fail to obey simple rules that are not meant to be broken. The idea of a uniform is just that, UNIFORM!

It is no good having style conscious parents willing to spend unlimited monies on designer gear when another kid's parents cannot afford such shoes which I believe can sell for over £100 a time.

Bullying and teasing is a result.

If the parents do not like the rules, take your kids out of the school and let other more deserving in. I bet they do not get such non-compliance with any East European kids whose parents appear much stricter and do not go for this nonsense designer gear.
I back the school on this. No doubt it is over-subscribed by yummy parents who expect high standards from the schoool and entrust their kids into their care each day. Yet they fail to obey simple rules that are not meant to be broken. The idea of a uniform is just that, UNIFORM! It is no good having style conscious parents willing to spend unlimited monies on designer gear when another kid's parents cannot afford such shoes which I believe can sell for over £100 a time. Bullying and teasing is a result. If the parents do not like the rules, take your kids out of the school and let other more deserving in. I bet they do not get such non-compliance with any East European kids whose parents appear much stricter and do not go for this nonsense designer gear. Billy Yerache
  • Score: -9

6:40pm Tue 24 Sep 13

LoughtonLass says...

My daughter attends a local school and every year a letter is sent out to parents reminding them of the school uniform rules. Yet every year I see children at her school with non-school uniform items and already 3 weeks into the new term I have spotted a number of boys flaunting the school rules and wearing trainers, it frustrates me that the rules are not being enforced but this is not the worse offense regarding school uniforms, it's the dirty looking uniform that some pupils wear! You can tell that some parents send their children into school every day for a week in the same unwashed uniform or if the uniform is washed, the parent has washed the grey trousers/skirt with the white shirts and the child ends up with off-white shirts.
Thankfully I know how to separate my washing and my daughter attends school looking smart and I can hold my head up high that as a parent I set a good example to my daughter and obey the school rules, shame that some of the other parents aren't as respectful of the rules.
BTW I'm not a perfect parent but the school rules on school uniform are quite easy to follow but I do feel that cutting off the tiny (and yes, it’s tiny!) red and green label/tab that says "Kicker" on a sturdy, suitable school shoe is a tad silly! Does the school ask that the children with the "Clarkes" emblem embossed on their shoes cover this up? As long as the branding is discreet then I'm sure this could be over looked and would mean that the teachers could get on with teaching.
My daughter attends a local school and every year a letter is sent out to parents reminding them of the school uniform rules. Yet every year I see children at her school with non-school uniform items and already 3 weeks into the new term I have spotted a number of boys flaunting the school rules and wearing trainers, it frustrates me that the rules are not being enforced but this is not the worse offense regarding school uniforms, it's the dirty looking uniform that some pupils wear! You can tell that some parents send their children into school every day for a week in the same unwashed uniform or if the uniform is washed, the parent has washed the grey trousers/skirt with the white shirts and the child ends up with off-white shirts. Thankfully I know how to separate my washing and my daughter attends school looking smart and I can hold my head up high that as a parent I set a good example to my daughter and obey the school rules, shame that some of the other parents aren't as respectful of the rules. BTW I'm not a perfect parent but the school rules on school uniform are quite easy to follow but I do feel that cutting off the tiny (and yes, it’s tiny!) red and green label/tab that says "Kicker" on a sturdy, suitable school shoe is a tad silly! Does the school ask that the children with the "Clarkes" emblem embossed on their shoes cover this up? As long as the branding is discreet then I'm sure this could be over looked and would mean that the teachers could get on with teaching. LoughtonLass
  • Score: 8

8:22pm Tue 24 Sep 13

nikkic says...

This is the first year of the new school uniform and new school. Up to this year pupils have been allowed to wear what they want on their feet as long as they are sensible black shoes! I like many parents,after forking out nearly £200 on a new (rather poor quality) uniform cannot afford to buy my child numerous pairs of shoes so I whould rather buy a decnt shoe that will last a long time and my child will be happy to wear outside of school, therefore I bought Kickers. A pair of decent Clarkes shoes would cost me upwards of £40 anyway! Shoes do not affect the ability of the child to learn!

My child got pulled up today for wearing a non-uniform jumper under her blazer - the school cardigan I ordered on the 20th August has still not been delivered! What is she supposed to wear whilst standing in the foggy morning chill at 7.30 waiting for the school bus that delivers her to a school 4.4 miles away 45 minutes later!! I have told her to continue wearing the top if she is cold and that the school can contact me if need be.
This is the first year of the new school uniform and new school. Up to this year pupils have been allowed to wear what they want on their feet as long as they are sensible black shoes! I like many parents,after forking out nearly £200 on a new (rather poor quality) uniform cannot afford to buy my child numerous pairs of shoes so I whould rather buy a decnt shoe that will last a long time and my child will be happy to wear outside of school, therefore I bought Kickers. A pair of decent Clarkes shoes would cost me upwards of £40 anyway! Shoes do not affect the ability of the child to learn! My child got pulled up today for wearing a non-uniform jumper under her blazer - the school cardigan I ordered on the 20th August has still not been delivered! What is she supposed to wear whilst standing in the foggy morning chill at 7.30 waiting for the school bus that delivers her to a school 4.4 miles away 45 minutes later!! I have told her to continue wearing the top if she is cold and that the school can contact me if need be. nikkic
  • Score: 5

12:14pm Wed 25 Sep 13

mdj says...

'Headteacher George Yerosimou said the ban was in place to prevent pupils being exposed to peer pressure to buy certain brands. ..'

As opposed to institutional compulsion to buy over-priced bespoke embroidered uniforms from one supplier. Why on earth should any presentable cardigan of a given colour not be acceptable?
I suppose it's educational for children to be taught about double standards from authority figures.
'Headteacher George Yerosimou said the ban was in place to prevent pupils being exposed to peer pressure to buy certain brands. ..' As opposed to institutional compulsion to buy over-priced bespoke embroidered uniforms from one supplier. Why on earth should any presentable cardigan of a given colour not be acceptable? I suppose it's educational for children to be taught about double standards from authority figures. mdj
  • Score: 5

12:27pm Wed 25 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

Don't worry: the Lib Dems are going to crack the cartels so parents will no longer be forced to buy school uniforms from a single supplier.

The last three year of Coalition austerity hell were worth it after all.
Don't worry: the Lib Dems are going to crack the cartels so parents will no longer be forced to buy school uniforms from a single supplier. The last three year of Coalition austerity hell were worth it after all. stickmanny
  • Score: 1

6:47pm Wed 25 Sep 13

LakeBreeze says...

What a ridiculous policy, when it's not only expensive brands that carry a logo but even cheap brands will mention a name somewhere.

And what about the Kickers logo all around the grommets of that shoe in the picture? Are parents going to have to get a tiny blowtorch and melt the imprint off?

For god's sakes...all perspective seems to have been lost. I went to a school with a strict uniform code but as long as shoes were predominantly black we were all set.

It's the education that's important, not barely visible little red tags.
What a ridiculous policy, when it's not only expensive brands that carry a logo but even cheap brands will mention a name somewhere. And what about the Kickers logo all around the grommets of that shoe in the picture? Are parents going to have to get a tiny blowtorch and melt the imprint off? For god's sakes...all perspective seems to have been lost. I went to a school with a strict uniform code but as long as shoes were predominantly black we were all set. It's the education that's important, not barely visible little red tags. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 9

10:44am Thu 26 Sep 13

ladymerc says...

Whats going on with this school! it should concentrate on childrens education especially those that need help instead of criticising their footwear. Whats wrong with our children going to school in good quality shoes or boots instead of plimsoles or trainers like quite a few these days.Stop avin a go at the kids for there footwear and help them with their education. New school new rules (aah) still can't change the school name and history tho.
Whats going on with this school! it should concentrate on childrens education especially those that need help instead of criticising their footwear. Whats wrong with our children going to school in good quality shoes or boots instead of plimsoles or trainers like quite a few these days.Stop avin a go at the kids for there footwear and help them with their education. New school new rules (aah) still can't change the school name and history tho. ladymerc
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Neat123 says...

Mr Yerosimou needs to chat to his staff before commenting. My nephews shoes are not the only ones that have had there tags cut off on school site. So I hope all the parents that have had there child's tags cut off on school site should be putting in a invoice for a new pair of shoes..
My nephew is NOT A LIAR and was told to keep quite about being given a cheque to replace the shoes that he was forced to cut the tags off.
The schools behaviour towards the kids is unacceptable it has been intimidation. To make a year 7 cry on there very first day of school is this acceptable??.
I am sticking to my guns on this and I hope other parents do to.
Mr Yerosimou needs to chat to his staff before commenting. My nephews shoes are not the only ones that have had there tags cut off on school site. So I hope all the parents that have had there child's tags cut off on school site should be putting in a invoice for a new pair of shoes.. My nephew is NOT A LIAR and was told to keep quite about being given a cheque to replace the shoes that he was forced to cut the tags off. The schools behaviour towards the kids is unacceptable it has been intimidation. To make a year 7 cry on there very first day of school is this acceptable??. I am sticking to my guns on this and I hope other parents do to. Neat123
  • Score: 4

4:19pm Thu 26 Sep 13

#kickers says...

Some people who leave comments need to check their facts first! I'm far from a "yummy parent" who is style conscious!! I never, and I mean NEVER buy big brands on any clothing. The only thing I insist on being of great quality is my childs shoes! I will spend whatever I need to spend to ensure my child has comfortable, warm dry feet! And you think that means my child doesn't deserve to go to that school? IDIOT!!

“The majority of parents have complied with this by cutting the tags, covering them with masking tape or colouring them in,” he said."

Of course they have George! And we're all daft enough to believe this as well. You find it acceptable for my child to come to school with masking tape on a perfectly good pair of plain black shoes? Nobody would ever know which brand she's wearing if she does that!!

Nobody has been threatened with detention or exclusion for their luminous coloured Adidas bags and Nike jackets but a couple of little tags are causing so much offence?

I had the same problems with this school last year! Constantly slagging off my childs footwear despite the fact they were again, plain black! Denying that other children are wearing wrong coloured shoes! Yet when I attended a meeting, a boy sitting opposite me outside reception was wearing brilliant white Nike high tops, 2 girls walked past with luminous orange adidas trainers and bright pink Nike trainers and one other boy with light grey Fila trainers! Did i imagine them all?

"I am sticking to my guns on this and I hope other parents do to."
Yes, definitely! Of all the things to concentrate on, this should be way down the bottom of the table! But this had to happen I suppose. Education was never important with this new school. I recall a certain line from a letter written on 1st July 2013..."Our priority is for uniformity and smartness" Hmmm....wonder where education fits in on this priority list?
Some people who leave comments need to check their facts first! I'm far from a "yummy parent" who is style conscious!! I never, and I mean NEVER buy big brands on any clothing. The only thing I insist on being of great quality is my childs shoes! I will spend whatever I need to spend to ensure my child has comfortable, warm dry feet! And you think that means my child doesn't deserve to go to that school? IDIOT!! “The majority of parents have complied with this by cutting the tags, covering them with masking tape or colouring them in,” he said." Of course they have George! And we're all daft enough to believe this as well. You find it acceptable for my child to come to school with masking tape on a perfectly good pair of plain black shoes? Nobody would ever know which brand she's wearing if she does that!! Nobody has been threatened with detention or exclusion for their luminous coloured Adidas bags and Nike jackets but a couple of little tags are causing so much offence? I had the same problems with this school last year! Constantly slagging off my childs footwear despite the fact they were again, plain black! Denying that other children are wearing wrong coloured shoes! Yet when I attended a meeting, a boy sitting opposite me outside reception was wearing brilliant white Nike high tops, 2 girls walked past with luminous orange adidas trainers and bright pink Nike trainers and one other boy with light grey Fila trainers! Did i imagine them all? "I am sticking to my guns on this and I hope other parents do to." Yes, definitely! Of all the things to concentrate on, this should be way down the bottom of the table! But this had to happen I suppose. Education was never important with this new school. I recall a certain line from a letter written on 1st July 2013..."Our priority is for uniformity and smartness" Hmmm....wonder where education fits in on this priority list? #kickers
  • Score: 8

4:56pm Mon 30 Sep 13

riceuten says...

I'm no fan of school uniforms - I think, rather stupidly, people believe that uniforms = higher standards - I suppose all those German and Dutch kids who pass their 12 plus years at school never having a uniform are REALLY stupid, eh ? And you don't get label wars there, either.

BUT....*IF* you have a uniform in a school, you can't whine when they enforce it, as many parents do. Those are the rules you signed up to when you were offered a place.
I'm no fan of school uniforms - I think, rather stupidly, people believe that uniforms = higher standards - I suppose all those German and Dutch kids who pass their 12 plus years at school never having a uniform are REALLY stupid, eh ? And you don't get label wars there, either. BUT....*IF* you have a uniform in a school, you can't whine when they enforce it, as many parents do. Those are the rules you signed up to when you were offered a place. riceuten
  • Score: 1

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