Dear Parents / Carers
Expectations and Standards.
I am writing to ask for your support ensuring our students maintain the high standards we expect of them both within school and in the wider community.
We are seeing an increasing number of students not meeting our expectations, and in the volume of complaints we are receiving from members of the community relating to antisocial/dangerous behaviour and inconsiderate parking.
We believe that a smart uniform improves discipline, self-esteem, focuses attention upon learning and away from distractions, and gives pupils a sense of pride in their appearance. We ask that the uniform is worn appropriately and in its entirety. Our uniform expectations can be found in the school planner on pages 13 and 14. You can also view this information in the uniform policy and guide available on the academy’s website: https://www.bydales.outwood.com/uniform
Unfortunately there are a number of students who are not meeting these expectations. The most prevalent issues are currently:
- Students wearing nail polish or false nails (including clear polish, gels, acrylics, extensions and Shellac).
- Students not wearing the correct type of skirt - skirts must be plain black and in a tailored formal style, sitting on or just above the knee. Skirts may be A-line, pencil or pleated (twin, knife or box pleat) but should not be tight-fitting or tube skits and cannot be made of jersey, stretch or patterned fabric.
- Students not wearing the correct type of trousers. Trousers must be plain black and in a tailored formal style. They must not be leggings, cropped, a tight or skinny fit, made of stretch or patterned fabric. Trousers should not have decorative buttons, buckles or fashion belts. Jeans, flares, cargo, bootlegged trousers, tracksuit bottoms, jeggings or leggings are not acceptable.
- Students wearing jewellery, in particular piercings. Students who wish to have their ears pierced, or any other form of piercing, should ensure that this is done at the start of the summer holiday. Students will not be allowed to wear earrings or any other piercing jewellery and this includes plastic covers and anything used to cover the piercing area.
- Students may only wear a wrist watch and, if required, a Medic Alert necklace or bracelet. Smart watches are not allowed in the school.
- Noticeable make-up including fake-tan, eye shadow, liner or mascara is not allowed. Make-up, if worn, must be discreet and the decision as to what qualifies as this rests with the Principal, acting Principal and Executive Principal. False eyelashes are not to be worn and henna is not allowed.
With regards to other aspects of uniform:
- If you are purchasing shoes for the new term please make sure they are compliant with the policy; shoes should be plain black and free of embellishments. Logos, edging and other splashes of colour are not allowed.
- Socks must be plain black.
- Hair bands and bobbles must be plain black or purple, and should not be worn on wrists or attached to blazers.
- Any coat worn by students must be large enough to go over the blazer and needs to be removed before the students come over the purple line at the main gates.
- Hoodies are not to be worn with the school uniform. There are a growing number of students wearing them and they need to be removed before the purple line.
We will be reiterating our standards regarding uniform and general behaviour expectations through assemblies during the week commencing 22 May 2023. This will be underpinned with uniform checks during tutor time. Sanctions will be applied for all breaches in the policy.
We have been disappointed this year in the number of students who are bringing vapes into school and in those who are vaping in and around the academy.
Vapes are a prohibited item and will be confiscated from the students. Parents and carers will be informed and will be asked to collect the vape from reception at the end of the school day. Students caught vaping in the academy will be issued with a fixed-term suspension without exception.
Mobile and smartphones can have a very negative impact on an otherwise calm and structured learning environment, causing distraction and the potential for lost learning. The academy has a firm policy against their use and is a ‘phone-free school’. Phones should not be used, seen or heard at any point on the academy site. Students seen with or using their phones in school will have them removed and these will only be returned to their parents or carers.
Please do not encourage your child to use their phone to contact you or others whilst in the academy. If students need to contact a parent or carer they should speak to a member of staff who will arrange to make this contact.
Of equal importance are the issues that can be caused by the use of social media and other applications that impact on students’ health and well being. This includes the sharing of posts and videos and the inappropriate use of messaging apps.
In the Community
I am proud of the young people at our academy, they are a credit to themselves, their families and our academy. They demonstrate the academy values of ‘be safe, be respectful and be responsible’ alongside working hard and being kind. However, we have had a number of complaints from our local community regarding the behaviour of a small number of students on their way to and from the academy.
Cycling continues to be a problem with students deliberately obstructing traffic, verbally abusing drivers and residents and cycling in an unsafe manner (including the use of phones). These activities have led to at least one collision this term and the potential for more.
Concerns are also being raised about the volume of litter being left between the academy and the village and the responses residents are receiving when they ask students not to drop food and drink packaging or vapes.
We expect all our students who are crossing at the Coast Road to use the crossing point after the main gate to ensure safety is the priority, the road is very busy therefore no students should just cross the road, all students must use the crossing.
We have a limited number of staff on duty in the village as staff are required to monitor both inside and outside the school site. It is not possible for the academy to monitor the behaviour of students travelling to and from school and I would respectfully ask families to reinforce expectations at home.
Positive community relationships are very important to the academy and we continue to receive concerns from residents about the parking of some parents/carers who bring their children to and from the academy. This includes residents being unable to access their driveways and vehicles being double parked, creating issues for the free flow of traffic and the safety of our students.
We would like to remind parents and carers that Churchill Drive is an access-only road for residents, similarly, the road opposite the academy is a private road and incorporates a pedestrian walkway/cycle path. It must not be used for parking or u-turns as these create unnecessary hazards.
For those parents/carers using the academy car park, please:
- Only park in the marked parking bays
- Do not park on yellow lines or obstruct gates or other entrances
- Do not move cones to use the turning circle or disabled parking bays unless you hold a blue badge or are collecting a child with mobility issues.
Parents/carers who do not meet these expectations may be asked to find alternative parking off-site.
To close, I would appreciate the support of all parents and carers to ensure that their children maintain our high expectations and standards and we can maintain positive relationships with our community. It would be disappointing if the behaviour of a small number of our students damages the reputation of the majority who consistently behave impeccably.