A school has apologised after suggesting students’ academic success was linked to the cleanliness of their shoes.
In a Facebook post titled ‘Success and shoes’, Crispin School in Somerset said students with ‘strongest academic progress’ are ‘sharply dressed’.
It went on to ‘emphasise the link between success and footwear’ following a number of clashes between parents, pupils and the school over uniform policy.
But the post sparked an immediate and furious backlash, with parents labelling it ‘utterly ridiculous’, ‘bloody stupid’ and ‘a load or rubbish’.
The school has apologised saying it was committed to ‘giving all students the best chance to learn regardless of their background’.
Here’s the school’s controversial post
In the post, the school references its location on the same street as the shoe manufacturer Clarks.
It followed a recent crackdown on uniform in which parents have reported their children coming home in tears after being ‘shamed’.
Mum Andrea Fidgeon wrote: ‘I’m a so bloody fuming, my daughter has come home in floods of tears tonight having been harassed about her shoes, even called my daughter a liar and told her she will be in isolation on Monday for her leather shoes!’
Keith Buck wrote: ‘What a pile of rubbish. It’s ridiculous to say your footwear helps you achieve. It clearly does not.’
Angela Cave added: ‘This post is ridiculous, what a shame the school concentrates and spends so much time wasted on school uniform when it could be better spent worrying about real issues!’
Some parents supported the school and pointed out that smart shoes encourage pupils to take pride in their appearance.
Andy Hedges wrote: ‘It is very important to have shiny shoes. Shoe polish isn’t expensive and having a pair of shiny shoes generally reflects a person that takes responsibility in other areas of their life.
‘I wouldn’t employ somebody who came in for an interview with scuffed shoes. Bravo to Crispin School for giving their students a dose of reality.’
In a statement, a school spokesman said. ‘The comments posted had nothing to do with disadvantage or money, and everything to do with the importance of students arriving at school well prepared and ready to learn,’
‘I apologise to anyone who was upset in any way.’