September 9, 2021 6.04 pm This story is over 32 months old

Lincoln teen back in school after debate over ‘wrong trousers’

She went back in the same trousers as before

A Lincoln teenager returned to school on Thursday in the same ankle-grazing trousers that sparked a controversial debate and a three-day absence earlier this week.

Ruby McCarthy, 13, was sent home in tears from Lincoln Castle Academy during the morning of the first day of term on Monday, September 6.

Mother Natasha Scott was left furious by the situation and kept her daughter at home for the following two days, but the school now appears to have backed down over the issue.

Ruby returned to school wearing the same trousers and ankle trainer socks, without any problems being flagged up, her mother said, although the school claims it has “not changed its stance”.

The teenager had gone into school on Friday, September 3 for a coronavirus test prior to the start of term. Her mother was told at the time that the trousers were inappropriate, and the year nine pupil was given another pair to wear.

At the time, the school said it had been “clear in communications home and in asssemblies last term” over uniform expectations, but the situation sparked a large debate after The Lincolnite’s initial story.

Natasha has since claimed to The Lincolnite that when she spoke to the headteacher on Wednesday she made it clear that she wasn’t buying more trousers, and that the school didn’t need to purchase any for her either.

Natasha said: “I told her [the headteacher] as it is and we discussed the policies. I said I would be sending her in on Thursday, but wanted their word that Ruby wouldn’t be put in isolation. I was assured nobody gets put in isolation over uniform.

“Low and behold Ruby has gone to school with said trousers today [Thursday] and there have been no issues.

“If everything is fine now, why was there an issue three days ago? I’ve had so many parents come to me and say well done, and pat me on the back for standing up [to the school].

“The school phoned me back this afternoon and said she hasn’t personally seen Ruby, and they said no issues have been reported.

“I told them that Ruby has missed three days of education and has three unauthorised absences on her record, but was told that I’d chosen not to send her in.

“The return to school is never easy, especially after what we’ve all had to deal with over the last couple of years.

“It has stressed me out, but I feel like I’ve achieved something as she’s back in school wearing the same trousers. I’m happy that she is back at school so long as they are going to stick to it and let her learn.”

Natasha added that she would consider starting a petition in the future should the issue arise again.

Mrs Emma Halpin, Principal at Lincoln Castle Academy, said in a statement issued to The Lincolnite: “We won’t comment on an individual case but the academy’s remained consistent, not changed its stance, and expects all students to wear the correct uniform each day.”

This comes after the Principal’s previous statement on Tuesday, which read: “We have been clear in communications home and in assemblies last term that we expect all students to wear the correct uniform to school each day.

“We appreciate that uniform is expensive and have, to support parents/carers, purchased items – including shoes, blazers, trousers and skirts – for all those students and families who need our help. Where this is the case, parents/carers should contact the academy directly.

“We have unashamedly high expectations of all our students and are setting standards to match.”