Hundreds of people have signed an online petition which is asking a village high school to let students wear coats in classrooms. The call comes as windows are being left open at Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form to provide “increased ventilation” during the current battle with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hundreds of people have signed an online petition which is asking a village high school to let students wear coats in classrooms.
The call comes as windows are being left open at Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form to provide “increased ventilation” during the current battle with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The school has stated that students can wear more layers under their uniforms but a petition has been set up asking students to be allowed to wear their coats in classrooms as the colder months arrive.
The online petition, which was set up anonymously with the heading “Allow students to wear coats at Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form’ had reached 355 signatures yesterday (Tuesday, November 10).
The author of the petition states on the change.org page, where the petition can be found: “Due to the coronavirus, Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form have decided to keep all the windows and doors open to keep a constant flow of air to limit the spread of the virus.
“However, the school dress code prevents students from wearing a coat in the classroom, this paired with the falling temperature is causing students to lose focus on their work, catch colds and causes unnecessary mistakes to be made in the class.
“The argument being made by the staff is that “it is just the rules” and “we all have to abide to it.”
“This nonchalant attitude towards the health and safety of the students that attend this school shows that the schools priorities lie with tradition and not the benefit of the individuals who attend this school.
“Furthermore, members of staff are not allowed to wear coats but if you are a member of the senior leadership team you can wear a coat.
“This needs to stop.
“By signing this petition, you are bringing this issue to the head of Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form and will help update the dress code to accommodate the new Covid-19 safety measures.
“Thank you for taking the time to read and sign this petition; and helping us put an end to nonsensical rule-making in our school.”
The Times & Echo contacted Blythe Bridge High School and Sixth Form for a response to the petition and the concerns raised by its author.
A spokesman for the school said: “To balance the need for increased ventilation, the DfE guidance for full opening of schools encourages schools to provide ‘flexibility to allow additional, suitable indoor clothing.
“Students have always had the option of wearing a school jumper underneath their blazer but in response to the increased ventilation, parents/carers were communicated with in September with regards to students wearing extra layers underneath their blouses or shirts, and, as an additional measure, the school has sourced school fleeces which can be purchased online.
“We offer parents/carers who are facing financial hardship help with costs as we would with all school uniform, trips and equipment throughout the year.”
The school spokesman added: “Senior leaders have met with the Year 13 students who raised concerns to reassure them that the actions of the school are in line with DfE guidance and more importantly, are in place to keep students and staff as safe as possible.”
Many who signed the online petition also left comments as to their reasoning why they signed the petition.
One said: “If the school advice that the windows have to be open for the health and wellbeing of all the students at BBHS they should come to a conclusion and liaise with DfE and Public Health England to allow students to wear a coat or jacket to stop the spread of students becoming ill and having more days off school.”
Another said: “My daughters attend here and not only is it unacceptable to expect these poor children to learn in this environment, freezing cold. It is completely inhumane. It doesn’t benefit their overall health conditions. Totalling and utterly disgraceful.”
While another said: “It’s totally unacceptable for children or anyone for that matter to be sat all day still with windows opening. First thing you are taught as a teacher is the importance of the classroom environment and the impact it has on learning. First point raised is what is the temperature like? Too hot the kids will be sleepy, too cold they will focus on keeping warm. This will inadvertently effect their learning. A coat is not going to stop learning. Living like this is a dictatorship.”
And another said: “My son comes home frozen from Blythe Bridge High ever since they went back in September. It’s going to get colder over the coming months and if they aren’t allowed to wear their coats I’ll have to keep him off. He said he felt like crying the other day it was that cold.”
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