A student at The Gap High accentuates his footwear yesterday. Picture: Peter Wallis
A student at The Gap High accentuates his footwear yesterday. Picture: Peter Wallis

School shoe saga marches on, with principal scoring support

A SCHOOLYARD fight over shoes at a Brisbane high school has left more than 100 students in detention and parents comparing the hard line approach to a "concentration camp".

The Gap State High School has banned certain styles and brands of shoes, with the strict crackdown on uniform policy leaving parents divided and defiant students up in arms.

The tough stance has the support of Education Minister Grace Grace, who yesterday backed The Gap High School principal Anne McLauchlan's uniform policy.

While many parents backed the crackdown, one likened the school to a "concentration camp"..


Students at The Gap State High yesterday. Picture: Peter Wallis
Students at The Gap State High yesterday. Picture: Peter Wallis

Under the strict rules, The Gap High has banned students from wearing Vans and Dr Martens, forcing students to wear black leather lace-ups with heels between 5-20mm.

The school fight started last week after one student received detention for wearing banned shoes.

The Gap parent Karen Bishop last week confirmed her daughter received a detention for wearing banned shoes, but since then more than 100 students have received detention for breaching the uniform code.

Queensland Teachers Union President Kevin Bates yesterday confirmed 103 students had been sent to detention.

"The crucial thing here is that this is the school uniform policy that's been determined through consultation with the local community, with parents," Mr Bates said.

The Gap High uniform policy says students "are required to wear black leather lace up school shoes, which have a heel no greater than 20mm no lower than 5mm".

"The shoes must protect the upper side of the student's foot and have a leather upper," it added.

"Slip-on, Mary-Jane, slipper style, Vans or Dr Marten style boots/shoes are NOT accepted.

"Proper arch support is required."

The school has bought a range of shoes to supply to children wearing banned footwear.

Karen Lovelace, a mother of two The Gap students, said she supported the uniform crackdown Ms McLauchlan.

"I absolutely support our principal, the communications have been clear, they have been done in a range of formats," Dr Lovelace said.

"It's a very good school and they have been very supportive of families who find themselves in a position where they are unable to afford replacement shoes."

Ms Grace said she was concerned students had behaved badly over the shoe ban.

"I support the principal in implementing a school uniform policy ensuring to keep students safe," Ms Grace said.

A Department of Education spokesman said there have been no changes to the uniform policy at the school since 2004, which was approved by the parents and citizens' association.

"Since the return to school in 2018 a relatively small number of students have not fully complied with agreed standards," the spokesman said.

"The school is working with these students and their parents around this so that all students meet the expectations that have been set by the community."