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Parent’s anger as kids sent home from City of London Academy Southwark for having “wrong shoes”


Parents were left frustrated this week after uniform changes at Bermondsey’s City of London Academy Southwark saw children sent home on the first day of school – because of their shoes.

Students who turned up in shoes they say they had worn in previous years were sent away if their parents could be contacted.

Amy Griffiths, a parent who had two of her children sent home, said: “Over the summer they changed it [the uniform rules]. My son and daughter went in with the same uniform as last year. My daughter is a big girl with big feet and Kicker [the shoe brand] boots are the only ones that fit.

(L-R) Kicker shoe (approved) and the kicker boot (banned)
(L-R) Kicker shoe (approved) and the kicker boot (banned)

“I can’t just go into a store and get another pair. She was sent home because the shoes are not allowed. I understand the need for uniform but we have never had any issue with the Kickers.

“All these parents went out to buy these boots and now have to go out and buy a new pair.”

Aaron Dutton, another parent, said: “My little girl was sent home because of her shoes. I bought her black patent leather shoes but they [the school] said they were no good because you can’t polish them.”

Marcus Huntley, Head of School at The City of London Academy Southwark, said: “We are committed to promoting the highest standards of behaviour so that pupils can achieve their academic potential, as well as being equipped for the world of work and higher education.

“In order to achieve this, we expect the Academy, pupils, parents and carers to work in partnership to uphold the Academy’s expectations of behaviour and attendance.

“A small minority of children went home to change after we had been in contact with their parents for authorisation. Where we were unable to contact parents, pupils were allowed to continue their learning.

“The policy has been communicated to parents on several occasions including by post and it is available on our website – and clearly states that students who come to the Academy without the correct uniform will be sent home to change.

“We value feedback from parents and we will continue to develop our uniform policy further in the light of their comments.

“As well as an established PTA, the Academy has introduced a termly Parents’ Coffee Morning to enable them to continue to work in partnership with the Academy.”



  1. I also bought patent shoes the worst part of it is the main teacher enforcing this outside the school has been wearing patent shoes herself, such strict rules Ahould be followed by staff too, leading by example !!!! I’ve had to order the exact replica of this show in non patent finish, And btw COLA patent shoes don’t need polish they are as shiny as it gets and wipe over lovely with a wet cloth, much better for the environment!

  2. As a pupil who left CoLA 4 years ago I can tell you this is ridiculous. Firstly, I went to school with black fabric dolly shoes, mainly because I used to grow out and ruin shoes a lot and they were cheap. This is not in the current school uniform policy. To them I would not be ‘equipped for learning and the world of work’. Here I am 4 years later, about to go into my third year at my first choice university. My class mates wore kickers, now in Russel Group universities. I’m in part time work and currently on placement with respected museum. What stops children from reaching their potential is not what’s on their feet, it’s being taken aside, embarrassed in front of their peers and made to go home missing a whole days learning. Black shoes that are not trainers are all that should be required. I am happy for City to contact me if they would like any more evidence that their alumni made it to work, university, colleges and apprenticeships without such absurd rules.

  3. I spoke to many parents whose children were sent home without their parents been contacted.Some had no door keys so were walking streets until they themselves could contact their parents.I understand the need for rules but who would have taken responsibility if anything had happened to any of these children?

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