A British high school has banned students from wearing Canada Goose, Pyrenex, Moncler, and other expensive designer coats in a bid to stop "poverty shaming."
School officials at Woodchurch High School in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in North West England, sent a shocking letter to parents last week that said expensive winter coats would be prohibited from campus once students return from winter break (January 01).
The assistant headteacher said:
"As you are all aware from an email that was sent out yesterday, pupils will not be permitted to bring in Canadian Goose and Monclair coats after the Christmas break.
The support from parents/carers has been overwhelmingly positive and we are very thankful for this.
Some have also asked whether Pyrenex coats, which are also in a similar price range (with some also having real fur) will also be prohibited.
I am writing to confirm that these brands will also be prohibited after Christmas.
Thank you for your on going support."
A spokesperson for Woodchurch High School told the Liverpool Echo, the school is "concerned with poverty proofing" and its policy has "always been to minimize uniform costs to parents and carers."
"We are concerned with poverty proofing in school, where issues can routinely if unintentionally, stigmatize children living in poverty and contribute to the increasing cost of the school day to parents and carers.
It has always been our policy to minimise the cost to parents and carers of uniform.
The decision was taken following consultation with representatives of the pupils themselves and has been welcomed by the vast majority of parents and carers who have responded to the letter," the spokesperson said.
Most of the Canada Goose jackets are usually spotted on celebrities or in the most frigid regions around the world, easily cost upwards of $1,000. Other designers banned from campus include Moncler and Pyrenex, whose winter coats cost equally as much.
So, what is Poverty Proofing?
Poverty Proofing the School Day is a program developed by Children North East. The program is based out of North East England, provides toolkits for school administrators to poverty-proof their schools, to reduce stigma and remove barriers to learning and to assist teachers in exploring the most effective methods to increase student learning.
"Poverty Proofing the School Day consists of an audit for each individual school, questioning pupils, staff, parents and governors. The result is an action plan tailored to each individual school to address any stigmatizing policies or practices. There is then the opportunity to be awarded an accreditation following a review visit. We also offer training to staff and governors on poverty and its impact on education," said the Children North East's website.
Headteachers talk about their experiences of Poverty Proofing-
What does social media think of Woodchurch High School officials poverty proofing their school via the banning of expensive coats?
@RadioCityTalk mick my son goes too Woodchurch High he has been asking for one of these coats for Xmas.. Since the school announced this. He has told us not too bother as he can't wear it for school.. Result for me 👍😁— ⚽️DAVE HANNAFORD⚽️ (@trfc_rover) November 15, 2018
Wow wearing a £400 coat to school ! Madness - well done Woodchurch High in Birkenhead ! https://t.co/xzBir59ryV - I get by fine with jackets of under £100 - even £200 will buy the best but I'd not wear that to school !— JSkiScotland #FBPE 🇪🇺 (@JWils60) November 15, 2018
This is why all schools should have school uniforms. Good on Woodchurch High School https://t.co/3FWs2zewp0— Rebecca Soni (@Bexst8r) November 15, 2018