A parent steps out in her pyjamas. Picture: YouTube screenshot
A parent steps out in her pyjamas. Picture: YouTube screenshot

School PJ letter is snobbery - parents

By SARA SMYTH Time of article published Jan 28, 2016

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London - When a primary school headmistress banned parents from wearing pyjamas on the school run, it was hailed as a victory for common decency.

But on Wednesday parents at the Darlington school were defiant, accusing the head of ‘snobbery’.

One mother brazenly flouted the rule in pyjamas and Ugg boots a day after the stern letter was issued.

Karen Routh, 49, said getting dressed is not a priority when rushing to get her daughter to class.

Others at the school gates said they felt judged by the letter, which accused parents in nightwear of setting a bad example and said it was ‘not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed’.

Mrs Routh said putting on an outfit before taking her eight-year-old daughter Holly to school would have made her late for lessons.

She added: ‘I think as long as the children are on time and dressed correctly in their uniform it doesn’t really matter if the parents sometimes wear pyjamas.

‘The head thinks it affects a child’s aspirations to see their parents taking them to school in pyjamas but I know for certain that no child grows up with the aspiration to wear pyjamas when they go out to work.’

The former receptionist was the last parent to arrive at Skerne Park Academy on Wednesday, saying: ‘I’m running late… I even forgot to put my false teeth in. I got stuck at home, my leg went into cramp and I didn’t want to be late dropping Holly off so I just grabbed my coat. After all, I didn’t want my child to be late for school.

‘I wouldn’t ever come in my slippers but if I want her to get to school on time that’s the most important thing. I see parents in pyjamas come in with their children all of the time.’

Parent Claire Slaven, 33, said she felt judged after reading the letter from head Kate Chisholm and has since received abuse online.

She added: ‘This has made everyone on Skerne Park look bad… and that’s not fair on those of us who dress properly to bring our kids to school… we’ve had all kinds of abuse on social media since the letter was sent. We’re not lazy, idle people. The majority of the parents are decent and hardworking.’

Mother Cheryl Wright, 30, said: ‘[The head] might be trying to raise standards but as long as the kids arrive on time and are well dressed what harm does it do?’

Another mother said: ‘It’s just snobbery. The head should be dealing with the real issues at the school, like the bullying, instead of looking down on people from Skerne Park and telling them what to wear.’

But Mrs Chisholm on Wednesday defended her actions, saying some parents had shown up for Christmas performances and parents’ evenings in nightwear.

She added: ‘It is important that parents are role models and for them to see that they should maybe not attend events in nightwear, that they should not sit around in pyjamas because they don’t have to get dressed for work.’

Daily Mail

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