School’s back and mums all over the country are breathing a sigh of relief – firstly, that they survived the holidays and the constant cries of “mum, I’m bored”, and secondly, that they got the kids ready and still managed to brush their hair and throw on a pair of jeans for the morning drop-off. But beware, the parent who dares to front the school gate in their pjs!
After noticing an increase in the number of parents wearing their pjs to the school gate, the principal of Skerne Park Academy has written to all parents requesting they take time to get dressed in the morning.
Kate Chisholm says she noticed some parents were even wearing their nightwear to school assemblies and meetings.
“I have noticed there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their pyjamas and, on occasion, even slippers,” Ms Chisholm says in the letter.
“Could I please ask that when you are escorting your children, you take the time to dress appropriately in daywear that is suitable for the weather conditions.”
The letter created a storm of controversy on social media, with parents who backed the principal’s stance at loggerheads with those who think it shouldn’t matter.
“Surely it is unhygienic to wear the clothes you wore in bed for the rest of the day? How difficult is it to get up, shower, get dressed and feed your kid’s breakfast? What will these children aspire to?” one woman writes, while another called parents who wear jarmies at drop-off “miserable, lazy sods”, adding: “Don’t have kids if you can’t set a good example. Filthy.”
But people were going in to bat for the parents who decide jim-jams are okay as outerwear: “They do still enjoy freedom of choice and the teacher is not in charge of them…(have you) considered that they might be full-time shift workers? They might have got out of bed to take kids to school and need to go back for badly-needed rest. Many people work full-time, and more, to make ends meet”.
Some of the school’s parents wore pyjamas to the school gate the next day as a sign of protest, while others say they only wear them when running late.
The mum-of-three said: “I do wear my pyjamas and slippers to go on the school run when I’m running late. But I do make sure to have a wash and brush my teeth before leaving the house — I’ll even put a bit of make-up on,” says mum-of three, Nadine Tanner.
“Half of us round here bob out to the shop in our pyjamas so I suppose we see it as the same as dropping off at school.”
Ms Chisholm says her aim is to help set a good example for the children and has had far more positive responses than negative. “If we’re to raise standards it’s not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed,” she says.
“I have had loads of support from the community and people saying it’s about time something was done. If I get the parents on board then we often get the children too and in order to get the best chances for the children we have to raise the bar with the parents.”
Parent Phil Naylor, who has children at the school, says he supports the school and I hope this helps get the message across to parents. “It’s disgraceful, we should be guiding our children not giving them bad habits,” he tells News Corp.
The letter comes as another principal took a stand against the “dirty” state of pupils arriving for school. Judith Barrett, principal of St Michael’s Academy, says she noticed an increasing number of children coming to school “in a pretty shocking state”.
Ms Barrett’s letter berated the parenting skills of some of the parents, saying it was clear some children were getting themselves to school while their parents were still in bed.
“In a country where there is plentiful running water and washing machines, and shops like Tesco offering entire school uniforms for £10, it is a pretty poor indictment of the parenting skills of some of our families,” the letter said.