A LONG running school initiative in Llandrindod Wells is being adopted across the country to improve standards.
Findern Primary school in Derby recently started allowing pupils to wear slippers inside the school.
This practice to improve hygiene and make the school feel homely has been in place at Llandrindod Wells CP School Cefnllys for almost 25 years.
The initiative came in when Cefnllys opened in 1992 and has become a hallmark of the school.
Deputy head teacher Lorraine Cadwallader-Jones said: “It is not a new initiative, it’s been around since the school opened.
“A large area was carpeted for the comfort of the children. Along side that we want them to sit on a clean floor, for that they needed indoor shoes.
“It was also a safety thing. For children, if a finger gets trodden on, it hurts far less if it is a slipper rather than heavy school shoes. It just became routine.”
The scheme is also condoned by university research.
Stephen Heppell, Professor at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University conducted a Learnometer study of 100 schools around the world.
Monitoring the performance, behaviour, noise and other variables in schools where pupils go shoeless, Prof Heppell said: “Children seem simply to behave better individual data confirms this.”
In his research, Prof Heppell notes that different cultures have different explanations for why it works, in India it is a matter of respect for the school, in China it relaxes through reflexology and in Britain it is about feeling homely.
Ms Cadwallader-Jones noted that the practice makes the school feel more welcoming.
“Most people change their shoes when they get home. This gave home and school something they shared, maintaining standards and the comfort of the children,” she added.
“Sitting on the floor is a lot more comfortable in slippers.”
As well as creating a comfortable environment for the pupils, the scheme is supported by parents and the school’s council.
The subject was discussed on BBC Radio Two, where a Cefnllys parent highlighted the school’s use of the scheme.
Ms Cadwallader-Jones said: “The school council are behind the scheme, they recently made posters to remind pupils to wear safe shoes.
“It helps children know we respect the school and they do too.”
See full story in the County Times