Havering’s Academies: School Shoes and Shoe Laces

Havering’s academies have an aversion to trainers and coloured shoe laces, which is pathologically irrational. School shoe and shoe lace policies are enforced as though they’re crucial to learning and achievement.

Abbs Cross Academy

“A plain design, no trimmings, no logos, no decorative buckles, no coloured laces or stitching, no labels, no tags, or other decorations.”1

Brittons Academy

 “No Vans, trainers or pumps, plain black Kickers with no colour stitching or laces are allowed.”

[A breach that] cannot be rectified immediately, internal isolation may be imposed for the remainder of that school day or break and lunchtime, or until the student has a break in which they can safely return home to rectify the breach.” (my emphasis)2

Campion Academy

“Shoes for both boys and girls should be plain black and leather style material.”3 (my emphasis)

Redden Court Academy

“Plain black leather shoes with no decoration.  Black laces only.  No trainers, plimsolls or canvas type shoes.”4

St Edwards Church of England Academy

“Plain black office type shoes (NO boots, plimsolls or trainers).”5 (my emphasis)

There are 18 academies in Havering and all five academies analysed have specific policies about shoes and shoe laces.6 That professional educators have policies about shoes and shoe laces is barking mad. Needless to relate there’s no connexion between shoes, shoe laces and educational achievement. And you don’t need a degree to know that.


1 Uniform – Abbs Cross Academy

2 Uniform – The Brittons Academy This is a typical statement about infringements of school uniform policy.

3 Home (thecampionschool.org.uk)

4 Redden Court School – School Uniform (reddencourtcloud.co.uk)

8 thoughts on “Havering’s Academies: School Shoes and Shoe Laces

    1. Thank you for your comment

      Yes, I agree it is sad that schools devote so much time and energy to a totally non-educational issue. They also inflict unnecessary costs on parents.


  1. I’m trying to understand this peculiar dogmatism and not getting very far.
    What’s the origin of these rules? I believe Dr. Marten Boot laces used to have colour-coded political meanings, but that tenuous connection is all that springs to mind. Is it a policy against (subtle) self-expression? I can understand the desire for students not to wear expensive branded trainers when not every parent can afford them.


    1. Thank you for your comment

      Many countries have no school uniform policies and they seem to manage perfectly well. If you speculate it might be that the major boarding schools always had school uniform and they think that there is a *limelight* from that. There are expensive trainers but there are also cheap ones.


  2. There clearly is a connection between schools that enforce school rules .
    Uniform. ( shoes / shoe laces are out of a uniform)
    Exam results are clearly high in schools that set a high standard in making sure pupils keep to the school rules imposed


    1. Thank you for your comment

      Every school in Havering enforces more-or-less the same school uniform policy. They also more-or-less specify exactly the same uniform and yet there are vast differences in achievement outcomes. There is no correlation between a rigorous school uniform policy and achievement.


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