In 2016 Warrnambool school Emmanuel College hit the news for banning t-bar school shoes.
15 August 2016
Emmanuel College will ban girls’ T-bar shoes from next year in a bid to improve health and safety.
Principal Peter Morgan said the decision was made in consultation with staff, especially teachers of practical-based subjects.
“A lot of schools have already made the decision to move from T-bar shoes to sturdier lace-up shoes,” Mr Morgan said.
T-bar shoes expose the top of the foot, whereas lace-up shoes completely cover the foot.
“They’re not a sound or solid shoe and in practical-based subjects such as cooking or woodwork, open-toed shoes allow for knives or chisels to penetrate. Lace-up shoes provide greater protection,” he said.
The change will come into effect from the beginning of the 2017 school year.
“Any families purchasing new shoes for their daughters from now on, will need to purchase lace-up shoes to meet health and safety requirements.”
Mr Morgan said posturally T-bar shoes didn’t provide good support for the wearer but “at the end of the day the decision is based on safety.”
Rauert’s Shoex owner Peter Rauert said Mr Morgan had written a letter to inform him of the change which was not unique.
“Quite a few (schools) have changed from T-bars to lace-up shoes,” Mr Rauert said. “Hawkesdale were the first. Brauer did a couple of years ago and Emmanuel is starting to phase it in.
“There’s quite a few (schools) around the district and Melbourne metro have already banned them. It’s a progression you could say.”
Mr Rauert placed the store’s back-to-school orders in June and hoped there was enough lace-up shoes to meet the increased demand.
“Most of the girls are fairly happy. Most of the Emmanuel girls seem to be receptive to swapping over,” he said.
“We usually try to advise the family about the correct footwear to buy. If they want to go against it that’s their choice.
“Now as more kids swap over it will become acceptable. For the new ones coming through it will be the done thing,” he said.