An important letter was distributed yesterday via Parent Mail. It can also be read below.

Dear Parents/Carers,

                                    Re: School Uniform and School Rules

Firstly, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the last few weeks as we have returned to school. It has been a real pleasure to have all of our learners back in school.   Now that we are back, I wish to ask for your support with helping us to maintain a high standard of school uniform and ensuring that your child/children understand and follow some key school rules.

Mobile Phones

The use of mobile phones in school has been a concern this term as many of our learners have been used to having their phones over the last lockdown period and are not used to being without them for parts of the day. Please remind your child that mobile phones are only to be used in the designated Phone Zones (canteens/coffee shop) at breaktime and lunchtime. Mobile phones must be switched off and kept in bags during all other times.

Parent/carer appointments/ telephone calls

We have also had a number of learners contacting parents directly on their mobile phones to discuss issues that may have occurred during the school day, which have resulted in parents telephoning school or turning up to school and expecting key staff to be able to speak to them immediately.  May I remind all parents/ carers that many of our key pastoral staff have a large teaching commitment or have other duties and may not be available to speak to parents/carers until later that day or as soon as possible thereafter. Parents/ carers who wish to come to the school for a meeting must make an appointment and should not arrive at school without one. Please help the school by adhering to this.

Unfortunately, in a small number of cases in the last few weeks, when staff have been unavailable to see or speak to parents/carers immediately, reception staff and/or pastoral staff have been subjected to shouting and verbal abuse, which cannot and will not be tolerated. 

School Uniform – compliance

We are very proud of our school uniform at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School and whilst it is usually of a high standard, at the moment it is a real concern.   Whilst the vast majority of our learners returned in full school uniform or in clothing that is as similar to uniform as possible, there has been a deterioration in this compliance, particularly in the last week or so.  We are seeing an increasingly varied selection of clothing and jewellery which are not, nor ever have been part of our school uniform. This is impacting negatively on pupil attitudes and behaviour and I know that many parents/carers are also as unhappy as we are with this. I know that you will all appreciate that one of the greatest advantages of school uniform is that it prevents school becoming a fashion parade, where parents feel under pressure to purchase clothing with designer labels or follow the latest trends. In the current circumstances, with the economic impact of the pandemic significantly affecting many families, this sort of pressure is the very last thing that I would want.

I fully understand that for some year groups such as Year 11, there are only a few weeks of school left and parents/carers will not be wanting to purchase new uniform at this time.  I wish to ask for your support in these circumstances by ensuring that your child/children come to school wearing clothing which is as close to school uniform as possible.

As we are currently not using the PE changing rooms, learners are permitted to wear their PE kit to school on the days when they have PE. Whilst this worked well before Christmas, this term, many learners are wearing items which are not part of their PE kit. If your child has PE and wishes to wear shorts for the PE lesson, these need to be worn under jogging bottoms to come to school and for all other lessons. I would be grateful for your support with ensuring that your child/children wear school PE kit.

The pastoral team have identified a list of the main items of clothing/ jewellery, which are not part of school uniform but which they have seen in increasing numbers in the last week. I have also included below a reminder of the items which are acceptable, for your information.

Items being worn but are NOT permitted as part of our uniformItems which are permitted as part of school uniform
Coloured jumpers or sweatshirtsBlack v-neck sweater/ cardigan/ jumper
Coloured hoodiesNOT PERMITTED
Baseball capsNOT PERMITTED
Coloured leggings/ transparent panels (for PE)Black jogging bottoms/ black leggings (for PE)
Denim jackets/ leather/ leather look jacketsNOT PERMITTED
Coloured trainers/ coloured footwearBlack shoes/ black footwear
Necklaces, bracelets, neck chains, drop earringsA watch and / or one pair of plain studs in the lower ear-lobe.
Facial piercingsNOT PERMITTED

If you have any concerns about uniform or need to discuss any of the issues raised here,  the best people to speak to are those staff who support your child’s year group. Please see the updated staff list below of the Heads of School and Pastoral Officer/ Pastoral Assistants:-

Year groupHead of SchoolPastoral Officer/ Assistants
7 & 8Mrs.J.GrashoffMrs.D.Donovan
9 & 10Mr. P.BarryMrs.P.Evans
11,12 & 13Mrs. S.RichardsMr.G.Turner

I wish to thank you, in anticipation of your support with the issues that I have raised and encourage you to contact the school if you need further advice or support.

Yours sincerely