Do your children go to Skerne Park? Do you take them in your nightwear? Email or call 01325-505065 whichever side of the divide you are on.

A HEADTEACHER has taken action to stop parents from wearing their pyjamas when escorting their children to and from a Darlington primary school.

Reaction from parents and headteacher Kate Chisholm at Skerne Park Academy

Loading article content

Kate Chisholm, head of Skerne Park Academy, has sent a letter to all parents of children at the school asking them to ensure they are appropriately dressed when dropping off and picking their children up from school.

Kate Chisholm: "I have no regrets"

Ms Chisholm told The Northern Echo that it was a “small minority group” of around 50 parents – out of a school with 450 children – who persisted in wearing their pyjamas on the school run and that their actions were setting a bad example to impressionable youngsters.

She said: “We should be readying our children for the world out there.

“It may be acceptable for some parents round the school to wear their pyjamas outdoors, but I think it is a case that it isn’t commonly done in the rest of society.

“We are trying to prepare the children for the outside world and if parents think it is suitable to wear their pyjamas outside, then the children are likely to see it as normal too.

“Role models are a very important factor, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask parents to wash and put some clothes on before they come out.”

One parent posted the letter on social media where it received a positive response from other parents pleased that action was being taken.

Families collecting their children from the school on Monday shared their opinions at the school gates.

Mother-of-six, Leigh Emmott, said: “It does make a difference if parents drop off their kids wearing pyjamas.

“It's a bad example to set to children because you can’t turn up to work in pyjamas, you have to be smart at all times.

“As a mother of six I’ve never turned up to pick up the kids in pyjamas, but other people do and I don’t think it’s right.”

The Northern Echo:

Skerne Park Academy headteacher, Kate Chisholm, and below, the letter she sent to parents

The Northern Echo:

The letter sent to parents

Grandmother Valerie Hall said: “I’ve heard of a lot of people doing it and I agree with what the school has done about it.

“I haven’t actually seen the letter myself, but I pick my grandchildren up a few times a week.

“I think it must be on the mornings that it mainly happens as I haven’t really seen many people in their pyjamas.

But some parents expressed concerns that other aspects of their children’s school experience should be a priority.

Glen Younghusband said: “The schools' priority should be to look after the children and their education.

“We’ve had problems with bullying and that should be sorted out first rather than a letter about this.”

Ms Chisholm said that she had received an overwhelmingly positive response to the letter, although one parent did tell a teacher that she had “made Skerne Park look bad” by doing something that “no other headteacher in Darlington would do”.

Ms Chisholm said: “I didn’t put the letter on social media, and I have a right to communicate to parents where I see fit.

The Northern Echo:

Skerne Park School

“We have lots of amazing families on the estate and lots of families who work and it doesn’t show the estate in the best light.”

Ms Chisholm added that the school works hard to raise its pupils’ aspirations and help them fulfil their potential and it was important that parents helped do the same.


Simon Wood @Equaliser999

I'm from darlington and this is terrible parents should be ashamed of themselves bone idle no wonder kids struggle with discipline

Cab Davidson @gnomeicide

Darlington head teacher in devastating cultural imperialism slur. Darlington Mums - stick to your slippers! 

EngLessonPlanningUK @EnglessonChat

Is this really that important? Darlington head teacher tells parents to 'wash and get dressed'

Ent o' th Moor @EllesarCoamenel

Darlington.....I salute you, you lazy ***** heroes.

Jonathan Price @JonathanOPrice

Skerne Park Academy wants parents to dress appropriatly before sending kids off to school; no nightware. Go what you feel comfortable in.

Julie Wharton-Peart 

Theres a shop in aycliffe, says no pjs to be worn in the shop..this also includes dressing gowns!!!

Adele Marie Gash 

Totally agree. Takes two minutes to put some clothes on. It's disgraceful. Not a good example to set your children.

Becky Gohr 

Absolute disgrace people think that's acceptable. Talk about setting an example!