This story was originally broken in the local rag on the day it happened, but has since I see been taken up nationally. Whatever you may think of school uniform requirements, refusing to remove incorrect footwear and thus missing an important exam is a remarkably counter-productive move to make, especially as 13 of the other pupils evidently swallowed their pride and sat the exam in their socks - which we incidentally wouldn't have been given the option of doing when I was taking my GCEs. I think I possibly detect some slight embellishment by young Patrick and his mum of what actually happened, as he's probably now feeling just a little crestfallen. My mother would've given me very short shrift if I'd pulled a stunt like that - and no way would she have countenanced making excuses for me or defending my behaviour!
As is usually the case with these stories, some of the comments people have made are quite interesting. I think it's fairly common for pupils to have to wear correct school uniform when sitting exams - we certainly had to, and after all, the school is normally paying the fees. 'A' level candidates generally don't any more, but then few if any state schools nowadays require the wearing of school uniform by sixth-formers.
In all fairness, it does seem as if the school may be a little guilty of enforcing its uniform policy inconsistently. To get into the situation where upwards of a hundred pupils had to be sent home to change shoes, as reportedly happened back in February this year, seems to denote a fairly widespread disregard for the rules which went unchecked for a term or more. While the exam season may perhaps not be the best time to pick to have a clamp-down, pour encourager les autres is nevertheless a valid enough message to send out.