PARENTS are annoyed after a school told them students were to return within days in full uniform - or be turned away.

An email was sent by King Alfred’s Academy to parents notifying them of the return but parents are concerned that their children have grown out of their uniform, leaving them in a rush to get a new one sorted.

Families can only buy the uniform from one shop in the county - PMG Schoolwear in Faringdon.

Jennie Ferris, a parent at the Wantage school, said she was informed via email at 12.45pm on Wednesday, July 1 that her child would be expected to return yesterday for three hours.

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She said: “I feel that this is a barrier as my child has grown several inches during the lockdown period and cannot physically fit into his school uniform.

“This is not a problem that I face alone, hearing from several parents that their children are also in the same situation.

“The only shop in Oxfordshire to buy the uniform is fully booked for appointments, yet children will be turned away if they do not arrive in full uniform.

“In defence of the academy, they have offered preloved uniform for those in this situation, unfortunately emails in relation to this are being returned as the mail box is full.

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“I am in the fortunate position that I can afford to buy a uniform for my child, even if it is likely that it will be outgrown by September.

“My concern is for those that already face disadvantage and do not have the income to support such frivolous and unnecessary spending, children that may have spent months with very little are now being denied their statutory right to an education.”

The school denies PMG Schoolwear is fully booked for appointments and that email inboxes are full.

Rick Holroyd, headteacher at King Alfred’s, said: “The sessions are not obligatory, and no punitive action will be taken against any student who does not attend.

“In order to support our students and parents, a large stock of uniform has been laundered and prepared by our support staff team, and this is available at no charge to parents who may need an item or two to see their child through to September.

“In addition, we have spoken to our suppliers and they currently have slots available for parents to source school uniform if required.”

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Following the new guidelines issued by the Government last week, King Alfred’s said pupils are returning within strict safety protocols.

The school added that pupils will be organised within year group pods with everyone expected to adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, the school said it is unavoidable that school buses will arrive in the mornings and pick up at the end of the school day, but this process will be managed as carefully as possible.

Where possible, there will be staggered start times, breaks, lunchtimes and release times at the end of the day to keep groups smaller.