The (school run) pyjama game: We never used to wear them in Huddersfield, says mum

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A PRIMARY school that asked parents not to wear pyjamas when dropping their children off has been accused of double standards - because kids are allowed to wear them on charity days.

Kate Chisholm, headteacher at Skerne Park Academy, Darlington, made the appeal in a letter to parents after she had noticed an increase in the amount of adults wearing nightwear to the school gates.

Head teacher Katie Chisholm from Skerne Park Primary School in Darlington. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Head teacher Katie Chisholm from Skerne Park Primary School in Darlington. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Some even wore them to school assemblies and meetings. In the letter she said: “I have noticed there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their pyjamas and, on occasion, even slippers.

“Could I please ask that when you are escorting your children, you take the time to dress appropriately in day wear that is suitable for the weather conditions.”

Not all parents agreed with the request, with one accusing the school of double standards and another suggesting that wearing pyjamas in public was more common in the north east than in Yorkshire.

Ms Chisholm said her aim was to help set a good example for the children and said that so far she had received a positive response.

Karen Routh, 49, mother of pupil Holly, 8, wore pjyjamas to school today after she was running late due to feeling unwell. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Karen Routh, 49, mother of pupil Holly, 8, wore pjyjamas to school today after she was running late due to feeling unwell. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

“We are trying to raise standards and get better outcomes for the children and we noticed a lot of the parents are turning up to school as well as meetings and assemblies wearing pyjamas, if we’re to raise standards it’s not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed,” she said.

“I have had loads of support from the community and people saying it’s about time something was done. I have had far more positive responses than negative.

“If I get the parents on board then we often get the children too and in order to get the best chances for the children we have to raise the bar with the parents.”

Phil Naylor, a parent who has children at the school, said: “We all support the school and I hope this helps get the message across to parents.

A copy of the letter written to parents by Kate Chisholm, headteacher at Skerne Park Academy, Darlington, requesting they take time to get dressed in the morning and stop dropping their children off in their pyjamas.  Photo: Phil Naylor /PA Wire .

A copy of the letter written to parents by Kate Chisholm, headteacher at Skerne Park Academy, Darlington, requesting they take time to get dressed in the morning and stop dropping their children off in their pyjamas. Photo: Phil Naylor /PA Wire .

“It’s disgraceful, we should be guiding our children not giving them bad habits.”

This morning, parents reacted to the school’s letter. Single mother-of-three Karen Routh, 49, who wore pyjamas as she dropped off daughter Holly said: “I’ve actually been caught out today. I do come in my pyjamas because I generally just jump in the car and drop my daughter off at the school gates.

“I was wearing my pyjamas with a coat over and Ugg boots. I wouldn’t wear slippers.

“I’m not wearing my pyjamas out of protest, I’m wearing them because we’re running late.”

But Ms Routh had to walk in with Holly, eight, this morning because she was so late that the school gates had closed.

Karen said: “Personally I wouldn’t come to a Christmas performance or parents evening or even an afternoon school run in pyjamas but then that’s just me.

“I moved here a last April from Huddersfield and we never wore pyjamas there. I was quite surprised to see how many wore pyjamas.

“But it’s because of that that I don’t bat an eyelid at doing the drop-off in my pyjamas, I suppose what I do is acceptable. If everyone stopped wearing them then maybe I wouldn’t.

“I do feel that maybe people should be able to wear what they like, though. Each to their own.”

A friend of Karen’s, who would not be named, does the school run in her pyjamas and will even do a full shop at the supermarket in her nightwear.

She said: “It’s double standards. In one breath they arrange events for the kids to wear pyjamas to school for Pudsey day and then won’t let the parents wear them.

“I should be able to wear what I like. I don’t care what people think.

“How can what I’m wearing affect how my child performs at school? As long as my child is in full-time education then what’s that got to do with anyone else?”

Nadine Tanner, 37, did the school run this morning but said she quite often nips in her pyjamas and slippers.

The mum-of-three said: “I do wear my pyjamas and slippers to go on the school run when I’m running late but I do make sure to have a wash and brush my teeth before leaving the house - I’ll even put a bit of make-up on.

“Half of us round here bob out to the shop in our pyjamas so I suppose we see it as the same as dropping off at school.

“I think the head has gone about this the wrong way, she has got the backs up with a lot of parents at the school.

“I think the school has other, bigger issues they should be dealing with, rather than worrying about what people are wearing.”