Schoolboy locked in prison room for wearing shorts to school during heatwave

A schoolboy was put in isolation in a room “like a prison” after wearing shorts to class during the sweltering heatwave that hit over 30C on the mercury.

Harrison Utting, 13, was sent to the Pastoral Support Programme room as punishment for turning up to Westlands School in Sittingbourne, Kent, in shorts on Monday morning.

His dad Terry Utting, from nearby Sheppey, took him out of school on Monday and again yesterday, July 12, when the lad turned up in shorts again.

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The vape shop boss is in disbelief over the saga in the school, and complained that there is "no air-conditioning in the classrooms".

However, the school has said it has a "clear policy on uniform".

Mr Utting slammed the school for banning shorts in the classroom at a time when the country is hit by record high temperatures.

He added: “I don't think it's right the way the school is treating its students.

"There is a blanket ban on shorts but there is no air-conditioning in the classrooms and the pupils are roasting in 30C heat.

"At least the girls can wear skirts.

“I read that in another school all the boys ended up wearing skirts as that was the only way they could keep cool and follow the dress code.”

This week parts of Kent saw temperatures hit 26C, with other areas of the UK, including London, reaching 32C.

The Met Office yesterday (July 12) extended its amber warning over the "extreme heat" until next Tuesday as temperatures are expected to rise again this weekend, hitting the high 20s and maybe as high as 35C.

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The school stood by its strict uniform policy, but said this may change if the searing heatwave engulfing the country continues, as is expected by forecasters.

Head teacher Christina Honess said: "We have a clear policy on uniform that all parents are made aware of before they send their child to our school and it is published on our school website.

"We review all of our policies on a regular basis and will do so with our uniform policy in due course.

"The overwhelming majority of our parents are supportive of our current policy.

"In the event of the extreme temperatures that are currently being forecast for next week, we would be willing to make reasonable adjustments."

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) advises that steps such as closing classrooms can be taken if it becomes unacceptably hot and classes can be moved to cooler locations, with potential for pupils to be sent home.

The union safety briefing states that 26C should be used as the trigger for these measures and that "dress codes can also be relaxed", with many schools that require blazers and trousers to be worn allowing shorts, skirts and the removal of jackets.


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