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Anger after Telford primary pupils do PE in their underwear

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Education | Published:

A parent has complained after her daughter took part in a PE session in her underwear at a Telford primary school.

Sir Alexander Fleming School in Sutton Hill. Photo: Google StreetView,

Sir Alexander Fleming School in Sutton Hill said it had given the seven-year-old pupils, who had no PE kit, the chance to take part in the session in underwear, or to remain in the classroom instead.

The school said the pupils had voluntarily taken part in the lesson, which happened last Wednesday.

But one parent, Dorcis Kimani, said her daughter was upset and felt she could not say no to taking part.

"It's ridiculous. I now want to take my children to another school," she said.

"I was in the wrong not to make sure she had a PE kit, but my daughter is very upset."

Mrs Kimani met the school's headteacher, but said they had disagreed over the approach.

She said: "I spoke to the headteacher and was told that my daughter was very happy in the session, but they don't know how my daughter was feeling. She didn't feel like she had an option. The teacher is an authority and the authority was telling her what to do."

“It was boys and girls mixed, I need an apology.”

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Ms Kimani said that up to 10 other pupils had forgotten their PE kits and were still involved in the session.

Jan Cousins, head teacher of Sir Alexander Fleming Primary, said: "There were many children who had no PE Kit on Wednesday afternoon.

"These children were given the option of remaining in class or, for health and safety reasons, removing their trousers and shoes in order to take part. All of the children who had no PE kit voluntarily decided to take part in the PE lesson."

Mrs Cousins said that there was no option to hand out spare kits. She said: “Unfortunately all of our spare PE Kits had been previously issued to children and had not been returned.“ Telford & Wrekin Council claimed that getting children who have forgotten their PE kit to do the class in their underwear happens every day across the country.

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Council spokesman Russell Griffin said: “This was a decision taken on the day by staff at a particular school based on the fact that the pupils in question had indicated they did want to take part in the PE lesson.

“I understand that all the pupils concerned enjoyed the lesson

“There is no national guidance on the subject but pragmatic decisions like this are taken every day in schools up and down the country.”

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