A HEADTEACHER has defended her new strict uniform policy — after sending home 74 children for not wearing the correct uniform on the first day of term.

Walkden High School opened slightly earlier than other schools to implement the new uniform policy, which parents were told about before the summer break.

Last week 74 children were sent home and yesterday just 11 out of the 1,200 pupils on the roll were sent home.

Headteacher Elaine Hilton said the policy had been introduced after research showed that dressing smartly at school impacted on academic standards as well as in response to calls from parents.

Mrs Hilton said: “Taking pride in your appearance and dressing smartly gives a positive selfimage and people feel they are taken more seriously which has an impact on their academic work.

“Our last two Ofsted reports were good and now we are aiming to take the school to outstanding.”

She added that most of the 11 sent home yesterday were absent from school on the day it opened.

Mrs Hilton said that the new dress code had been backed by the parents who were involved in a school forum, as well as governors.

“We had many letters of support locally and from other places,” said Mrs Hilton, who added that the “devil in the detail” particularly with regards to shoes was also for the comfort and long-term health of children.

With the input of children’s creative ideas, the school will launch a new uniform next September to celebrate their move into a new school building.

The new policy asks that pupils wear the correct uniform, with suitable shoes, and no jewellery