School slams ‘lazy’ parents for sending children to school in dirty clothes

The Mirror is reporting that a primary school has criticised ‘lazy’ parents who send their children into school unwashed and in dirty clothes.

…The strongly-worded condemnation of some families ‘parenting skills’ featured in the weekly news bulletin at St Michael’s Academy in Yeovil, Somerset.

It added that in modern Britain there is no excuse for the appearance of kids, who were arriving ‘in a pretty shocking state’.

The school, headed up by Judith Barret, currently has around 220 pupils aged between seven and 11 and was rated ‘good’ in the last Ofsted report in 2013.

It is understood the letter was sent home with children on Monday after teachers noticed the “shocking state” of some pupils.

The one-page rant says: “Unfortunately I have noticed an increasing number of children who are coming to school in a pretty shocking state.

“They are dirty, unkempt and not in appropriate school uniform, if in any uniform at all…

“There are also a lot of children who are getting themselves up in the morning and in to school as their parents are 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, which also appears on the school website, thanks parents who send kids to school “looking clean and tidy and ready for the school week”.

It warns parents they will be contacted by staff if kids turn up next week without the correct look…

And many parents agreed with the school’s tough stance on ‘dirty’ uniforms.

Mum Katie Dibley said: “Two of my children attend this school and I’ve always had nothing but respect for the headteacher.

“She’s firm but fair. I think she’s great.”

…Zoe Taylor wrote: “I agree with the letter to be honest.

“It takes me a matter of seconds to lay out some clean clothes the night before and five minutes at most to give my son a wash and brush his teeth.

“I don’t understand why it should be so hard to get your child to school clean and smart. No excuse!”

But other parents accused the school of being “shallow” and “insulting the community”.

More at: Teacher slams ‘lazy’ parents for sending children to school in dirty clothes in strongly worded letter


Read the comments in full in the newsletter:

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These are strong and potentially inflammatory comments from the school but, as many parents seem to suggest, is this forthright approach one to be welcomed and applauded? 

Or does it show unacceptable insensitivity to parents who are, in all likelihood, in very difficult circumstances?

Please give us your reactions and opinions in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Leadership, Parenting and Primary.


  1. TW

    Some parents deserve to be insulted.  If that upsets them, good.  It’s a shame that social services are so overwhelmed with work, much of it arising from parental inadequacies or worse, that more of these people are not prosecuted for child neglect.

  2. 5N_Afzal

    Please don’t call it a rant. If as the letter states children are coming to school unwashed and in dirty clothes then the school is right in taking a tough stance on this. The school may be giving them a wake up call.

  3. leebazen

    SchoolsImprove sometimes, as difficult as these issues are they need to be addressed. It’s in the child’s interest so worth the awkwardness

  4. BehaviourA

    She acknowledges that life is hard for some. Perhaps offering help re laundry equipment/ uniform grants etc would be more helpful. I know a family who lived in such awful, damp conditions that the children’s clothes smelt horrible, like an old dish cloth, even when they had been just washed and dried.Do any of them live in temporary accommodation? Or are homeless? Parents ill – mentally or physically? I find offering help rather than criticism usually more effective.

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove If it’s true, & the two quoted parents’ comments would suggest it is, then what’s the problem? Those insulted know it’s true

Let us know what you think...