A HEADTEACHER has banned parents from wearing pyjamas and slippers when taking their children to and from a Darlington primary school.

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.

She said mums and dads wearing pyjamas were setting a bad example.

The school's clampdown has won widespread support from other parents who take the time to get dressed before taking their youngsters to school.

Ms Chisholm told The Northern Echo a “small minority group” of around 50 parents – out of a school with 450 children – persisted in wearing their pyjamas on the school run.

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 yesterday (January 26) 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.”

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."

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

A young father who did not want to be named said: “The school's 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. 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.