Every little helps? You bet it does as the foot tapping manager of Tesco saves the day for Tia

Tesco store Manager Kevin Chestnutt handing over new shoes to Tia Mason. Picture: Steve Williams.

Tesco store Manager Kevin Chestnutt handing over new shoes to Tia Mason. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A supermarket has stepped in to give a pair of shoes to a 14 year old student who was forced to stay off school and told not to return until she ditched her black canvas lace up pumps.

Thomas Clarkson Academy at Wisbech clamped down on uniform and sent around 50 children into isolation for things like fabric ballet pump shoes, small logos on socks, ties not at the correct length and a blazer button that did not match.

Among them was Tia Mason who lost four days of education when she was told she would go into after school detention if she came back into school wearing the offending pumps.

Her story prompted the launch of a Facebook page called Thomas Clarkson Issues for parents and carers to share concerns and views about the Brooke Weston academy.

After reading Tia’s story on the front page of the Wisbech Standard, the Wisbech Tesco store manager contacted us to offer her a pair of regulation shoes.


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Kevin Chestnutt said: “It’s such a small thing we can easily help with. We were genuinely touched by the story of Tia and wanted to help.”

Teachers say they warned students at the end of summer and at the beginning of the new school year that there was to be no bending of rules.

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Her disabled mum Tracey, of Wisbech St Mary, who could not afford to buy a new pair until her allowance came through, said: “We are overwhelmed - to know strangers wanted to help is lovely.”

Tia wore canvas shoes last year and was never told they were a problem.

But principal Clare Claxton said: “If you let black canvas pumps creep in then other stuff creeps in and at the end of the day it’s about learning and keeping standards up not having to constantly check on uniform.”

Year 10 student Tia, was among pupils pulled to one side on uniform amnesty day on September 29 and ordered to stay in isolation until wearing the correct uniform.

If they returned in the same inappropriate clothing they would face detention.

Tia is one of triplets whose sisters go to different schools – her sister Poppy goes to Neale-Wade, in March, and Jasmine goes to Marshland High.

They have the same footwear but theirs has not been black listed.

Mrs Claxton said the school aimed to introduce a business-like atmosphere to everything they do using a professional approach.

“If we allow the smallest thing to get through then it is just the start of standards spiralling,” she said.

The Thomas Clarkson Issues page was launched on October 6 and has prompted scores of comments along with others appearing on the Wisbech Discussion Forum page with some agreeing that the rules should be adhered to and others saying it is taking a strict regime too far.

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