Uniform and Mobile Phone update
As part of our focus on raising standards and ensuring high expectations at Welling School, I would like to give you advanced notification of some changes to the school’s uniform policy, and a reminder of our existing mobile phone policy, as well as the way in which these policies will be enacted when we return from the Easter break. I am advising you of this now so that you and your child have adequate time to prepare, should this be necessary.
The uniform policy, which can be viewed here, has been updated to state that from 19 April 2022, students who arrive in incorrect uniform will be given the opportunity to correct it on the gate before entering the school, or will be sent home to correct it. Students who are missing an item of uniform and do not have the means to correct it on the day will be loaned a replacement item to be worn on the day and returned. Students will not be permitted to enter the school without full, correct uniform. A brief summary of the school’s uniform can be found on page 3.
Main points to note
Faux fur jackets, of the type featured in the attached images, will not be permitted at Welling School from April 2022. Make-up should be discreet which includes the wearing of enhancements such as false nails and eyelashes. Skirts should be of an appropriate length for a formal educational setting.
Hoodies of any description are not permitted at Welling School from April 2022. Headwear including caps, woolly hats, balaclavas and durags are not permitted to be worn on school grounds. If students bring these items to school they will be asked to hand them in until the end of the school day.
Black school shoes must be worn by all students. If a student arrives wearing trainers, for example if their shoes are damaged or lost, they will be provided with a pair of shoes by the school. Students who refuse to wear these will be educated outside of the main school population for the day. The only exception to this is where a student has a medical condition which prevents them from wearing shoes, if certified by a doctor’s note. Notes from parents/carers excusing trainers will not be accepted; students will be required to borrow school shoes for the day, or will be educated in the Refocus Room for the day.
I would like to explain the reasons for these changes, both to give you a better understanding of the direction in which the school is heading, and to enable you to support us in reinforcing this message with your child.
In a previous communication I outlined the importance of uniform in terms of what it represents; students’ commitment to the school, its values and its rules. We aim to be a high expectations, business like and academically focused environment and our uniform is in place to support that and for students to wear properly. It is a condition of taking a place at our school. Further to this, there are deeper social and cultural implications that a student’s choice of dress has, the effects of which pervade their experience of school. Our Personal Development curriculum is being revised in order to explicitly educate students about healthy and appropriate relationships, including appropriate ways for different genders to treat each other. To be clear, we are a place of education and the school is a formal setting; we are here to educate young people in a safe and appropriate environment, one that is equitable and free from intimidating and threatening behaviours. I am confident that you will support us in this stance as you will want your child to attend a school which has standards, expectations and aspirations and which is, above all else, safe.
I appreciate that uniform can potentially be a point of conflict between adults and young people who are often keen to express themselves, or follow a given trend or style, but it is important that we work together to present a united front and are clear that rules exist for a reason. With this in mind I urge you to support the school in enforcing high standards rather than challenging our uniform policy.. The easiest way for students to avoid any issues is to wear our uniform in line with our policy. What I offer you in exchange for any temporary conflict you may come into with your son/daughter over this matter is a school which provides a safe environment in which children can be children.
Our mobile phone policy remains unchanged at this point, but I would like to remind you of the school’s expectations.Students are not permitted to use mobile phones on school site during the school day. If a mobile phone is seen on school site it will be confiscated until the end of the day. Failure to hand in a mobile phone when requested by a member of staff will result in us having no alternative to using the sanctions set out in our behaviour policy which includes a fixed-term exclusion. I appreciate that this may seem a rather strong sanction but we are not in a position to debate or argue over this matter as it is disruptive and time-consuming, and ultimately deflects teachers’ time away from those students who are here to learn. I hope the rule is simple enough for all students to understand, and trust that parents/carers will support us in this. The easiest way to avoid any issue is for students to leave phones in their bag during the school day other than when in PE when it should be handed to staff for safe keeping.
I would like to thank you in anticipation of your support in these matters and would like to assure you that these measures are being taken for the greater good of your child’s education and to contribute to high standards of behaviour and engagement which are critical for a successful school environment where students can concentrate on their learning and staff can focus on teaching, supporting and developing students to reach their full potential.
As a school community we must now work together and rise to the challenge of rapidly improving consistent standards of behaviour.
We have not been able to hold school assemblies for the past few weeks due to the temporary restriction we have put in place to limit the impact of covid cases. However, when we return to school we will hold special assemblies with students to remind them of the non-negotiable expectations detailed in this letter.
In ensuring our school rules and expectations are followed we are ensuring that staff can focus on their work in teaching and developing our children. Students can also attend school feeling equal to their peers and without the pressure of feeling judged or by being distracted from their progress with unnecessary behaviours.
I will write to you again shortly after the Easter break with some further updates to our behaviour policy. Thank you for your support and for working with us to achieve the very best for your child.
Mr P Hemsley