Primary parents up in arms over “Mossbourne military-style” uniform drills

Brook Community Primary School

Brook Community Primary School - Credit: Archant

Brook Community Primary School parents are up in arms about the military-style uniform drills they say have been imposed on their children since the head of Mossbourne Academy took over the helm.

Brook Community Primary School

Brook Community Primary School - Credit: Archant

Peter Hughes from the lauded secondary school in Hackney Downs was appointed executive principal of the nearby Brook Community Primary School at Easter when the previous head teacher left.

But parents at the school in Sigdon Road have complained that the way the uniform policy is now being enforced is stressing out their children, some of whom have even been sent home for not meeting the required standards they claim.

Natalie Anderson, who claims her son is now afraid to go to school, says children are being penalised for their parents’ errors.

“There are six teachers lined up along the gates inspecting uniform, including socks and they are lifting uniforms to identify if they’re correct, the tactics are similar to policing,” she said.

“The tactics are misplaced in a primary school where children are still learning and adapting, they would be better suited to youths who need that kind of discipline and can take responsibility for themselves.”

She continued: “Six year olds don’t want to worry if their uniforms are ironed or if it’s the right colour or if their socks are black or if they have two tones on their shoes.

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“They’re trying to achieve something but they’re going about it in the wrong way and they are making people angry.”

Mossbourne, where GCSE grades are well above the national average, is well-known for its “no excuses” policy and strict behaviour code.

Interim Head teacher, Anthony White, said: “If you look at the uniform we haven’t done anything different to that which has been on the school website, it’s just that we are enforcing it, they should be wearing a school uniform.”

When asked if children had been sent home for not meeting uniform standards, he said: “That’s getting technical and I wouldn’t want to have that conversation with you because that’s been taken out of context.”

The school’s website says uniform must be worn at all times by all children in the school and can be purchased at a cost of £7 for a sweatshirt, £6 for a polo shirt and £5 for a PE T-shirt.

Footwear must be black and closed toe, and trousers and skirts must be dark grey.

Executive Head Peter Hughes did not wish to comment and neither did Hackney Council.