Nottingham mum ‘upset’ as her son was isolated for wearing sneakers

A Nottingham mother filed a complaint with her son’s school after he was isolated for wearing sneakers. Hayley Birtley said her 12-year-old son Matteo was grounded from Nottingham Academy in Sneinton on Tuesday March 14 after refusing to try on a spare pair of school shoes.

The 38-year-old said her son, who is in the eighth grade, has undiagnosed autism and ADHD, adding that the school is “absolutely” aware. The academy said it couldn’t discuss people’s circumstances, but said it sets “high expectations” for students, which supports its uniform policy.

Ms Birtley, who has four other children at the school, said she was “disgusted” by what happened. “He’s not the easiest kid to take care of, but he’s always gone in full school uniform,” she said.

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“The sole of one of her school shoes was coming off, so she had to come in sneakers. I told her I would wear the proper shoes again the next day of school.”

He recalled receiving a phone call in which staff told him that Matteo was refusing to try on a spare pair and had been isolated as a result, so he went looking for him. “He said they were putting the right pressure on him to try them on,” added Birtley, who said his son’s suspicion of autism meant he didn’t feel comfortable wearing the school-provided shoes.

“His anxiety is already through the roof. It’s totally unfair, he’s always gone in full school uniform. I feel let down, it’s absolutely disgusting the way he’s been treated. The shoes are black with a little white.”


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