Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

Our kids’ school is more like PRISON… pupils are forced to line up to be searched and they’re banned from wearing coats | The Sun

ANGRY parents have compared a school to "prison" after claiming children were forced to wait in long queues before being "searched".

The Kingsway School in Cheadle has introduced the new rules that some parents have described as a "military operation".

The changes were implemented on Monday, 27 February, and resulted in huge queues of childrenbacked up outside the school, on Foxland Road.

In a letter sent out to parents, the school said that the pupils would be met by "senior leaders" at the gates to "ensure they have everything they need".

However concerned parents have told Manchester Evening News that pupils bags were being searched, and the rules had "gotten out of hand".

One anonymous parent said: "I have four children, three have been to Kingsway and my youngest is due to start in September.

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"I think there must have been issues for them to implement these new rules, but I am quite upset by it, it seems a step too far.

"Children go to primary schools, which are nurturing environments and then at high school it's the opposite, lining up to be searched, told they can't wear coats.

"I don't think it's fair that children have to line up to get into school, when its cold.

"I just don't think you can treat children like that, it isn't very respectful.

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"I know it's hard because it's a big school and they are policing a lot of students but this is too much.

"It is like a military operation, these kids are growing up and want to express their identity.

"It's too controlling and I don't think schools should be run that way."

In response the school has said the "firm approach" has been very well supported" by families .

They said that delays on Monday were down to students either needing to retrieve equipment from their bags or waiting to be provided with the correct uniform, and the queues will reduce in time.

However, not everyone agrees.

The school shared a reminder of the "key changes" to social media and one parent commented how there were "less rules in Strangeways prison".

Another posted: "Seen less restrictions at army bases and in prisons."

"It is like a military operation, these kids are growing up and want to express their identity.

"It's too controlling and I don't think schools should be run that way."

Another mum commented: "My son was on time.

"As I dropped him off (8:15) the line of children outside was absolutely ridiculous.

"Surely there is a safer and more efficient way of checking uniform and bags rather than through one double door with hundreds of kids waiting outside?"

Parents were issued a letter asking for their support in maintaining and improving the "standards" at the school following a survey last October.

Results of the survey had highlighted how some pupils were "worried about behaviour, especially in the corridors" and that some students felt "unsafe" seeing students wearing coats or hoods inside school when not in lessons.

In the letter, it outlines that as part of the new changes, students would be met by senior leaders at the school gates.

Those students who are not "positively engaging" would be sent to a "ready to learn room to be given the correct uniform or equipment, or "required to stay there until they are ready to go straight to class".

The letter outlined how the new measures were introduced to help provide a "calm, focussed start to lessons."

The message issued by the the acting headteacher also outlined how students "will take their coats and hoods off and carry them inside school" so that staff can "swiftly identify any people who are not part of our school or if they are behaving in a way that might intimidate others."

The letter continued: "Please share this letter with your child to remind them of the expectations at Kingsway.

"Positive relationships and consistent management of rule breaking is what we aim for so that our children can have focussed, dedicated learning time in the classroom and also feel safe when they are moving around school.

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"We realise that these rules may sound different and possibly seem unfair for your own child but, with your support, it will continue to develop a culture where unkind behaviour or time wasting is not part of school life."

Kingsway School has declined to comment.

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