Children launch campaign to reinstate leavers' hoodies after sweatshirt switch
PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 December 2019
Parents and children gathered outside a Weston primary to protest against the school's ban on leavers' hoodies.
The institution's headteacher has introduced the change to stop students wearing hoods up in class and has offered sweatshirts as an alternative.
Ten and 11-year-old students at St Martin's Primary School, in Spring Hill, created a petition to bring back leavers' hoodies this year, which was signed and supported by 'most' year six pupils at the place of learning.
Andrew Smith, a parent of a child at the school, organised the gathering outside the primary on December 2.
His partner, Melissa Rule, said: "Our son was almost in tears after he found out he wasn't getting a hoodie, he came home and told us he didn't want a sweatshirt.
"It means the world to him to get one, and he feels the change is unfair.
"To tar the year group with something that happened last year doesn't seem very diplomatic and it's not respecting the kids' values.
"It's not a nice way to finish the school year, and it's important to the kids to have a hoodie."
Andrew said parents received a letter about the change from hoodies to sweatshirts in October.
He said the children have been expecting hoodies for four years and questions if the ban is the 'right way' to discipline students at the school.
Headteacher at St Martin's, Simon Marriott, said: "At the school, we have decided to have leavers' sweatshirts rather than hoodies this year for a number of reasons.
"Over the past few years, staff have been constantly reminding children to put their hoods down in class.
"This creates further issues when children continue to wear their hoods up, so removing the hoods this year avoids this issue.
"The sweatshirt will be cheaper than the hoodie, and this is something we were criticised for in the past.
"The sweatshirts will be special for year six for their final year and they are identical to the hoodies, apart from having no hood.
"Children will be able to choose their sweatshirt's colours as they did last year.
"The change is part of a number of things and events we have put in place to make sure our year six children's final year at St Martin's is a memorable one."