PARENTS have accused a headteacher of a U-turn over a controversial rule banning schoolchildren from wearing non-uniform coats.

Yesterday The Argus told how Patcham High School pupils in Brighton were walking in the freezing cold with no coats on because of the ban, attracting fury from parents online.

Headteacher John McKee said children were allowed to wear coats from the supermarkets and high street shops – but not beyond the school gates.

Parents have accused the headteacher of changing his mind on the policy with many pointing to a letter from him earlier in the year saying students were expected to wear only school-approved coats on their way to and from the site.

They also told stories of how children had their coats confiscated.

Writing on The Argus Facebook page, parent Tasha Stenning said: “I see the head makes a comment that children can wear a coat to school, just not in the grounds.

“So why when my daughter was putting her non-Patcham winter coat in her locker did her head of year try to take it off her and say you are not allowed normal coats in school?

“She was not wearing it, she removed it at the school gates and put it in a bag to put in her locker.”

The school-approved coats cost £32 from Patcham High’s retailer.

Mr McKee denied he made a U-turn and defended the policy.

He said: “I can’t tell people what they wear outside the school grounds, that is not part of my jurisdiction.

“It is only when they are wearing them to school they can wear them inside.

“I have received emails and texts from parents who have endorsed the school coats.

“Whenever we do things we review through conversations with the governing body and I always included parents with opportunity to come and talk to me.

“Every decision I make I always put the children first.

“The important aspect to us is safety and how there must not be any ambiguity around identification.

“The other reason is welfare and inclusion which comes out as very strong in our Ofsted report.

“Part of being an inclusive school is having a uniform which unifies and equalises and this is really just an extension of that.”

He denied the school made commission by forcing the students to buy the coat from Logo Sports.