Schools with no uniform?

(17 Posts)
Helsinski Mon 05-Sep-16 22:14:19

Looking into moving to a new area - currently in a small 2 bed flat and need to upsize, and obvs schools a major decision factor. We would like an open minded, creative school for DS who is now 2 (so not in a terrible hurry just yet) but having difficulty finding a way to identify them! We're in East London at the moment so staying in the same general area may be good, but actually quite open to suggestions. So far only aware of a school in Forrest Hill which looks like it may meet the criteria. Can anyone advice please? Thanks smile

ButtonLoon Mon 05-Sep-16 22:38:50

In my experience (through work and through friends' children), state schools without uniform are pretty much the same as those with uniform.

Unless you are looking to go private - that I have no experience with.

catslife Tue 06-Sep-16 12:09:57

I would be wary about making a "no uniform school" one of your criteria. There was a state primary in my area that had no uniform and then they had a new Head who decided to introduce one. Schools can change and there is no guarantee that a school with no uniform now will stay that way in future.

Helsinski Wed 07-Sep-16 00:07:15

Thanks both. I suppose the uniform is not so much the point, but we thought it does give some indication of the school ethos. We want a progressive school, uniforms feel very traditional. I have been looking into Steiner schools but private education is hardly an option... So I am still not sure what other initial criteria to identify not-very-traditional schools I could use?

rosesarered9 Wed 07-Sep-16 06:24:07

From my experience there are very few state schools which would meet your criteria. That doesn't mean there aren't any, of course, but I've never heard of any.
Have you looked into Montessori?

meditrina Wed 07-Sep-16 07:06:51

Steiner is a pretty rigid system, do not let the later start to reading mislead you. Things are introduced in the same order, at the same age and not differentiated for the individual child. It does however really suit families who believe in anthroposophy (or are prepared to embrace it totally).

I can think of a couple of no-uniform schools, but they are not really any different to their uniformed counterparts (eg Honeywell v Belleville). Or (arguably) stricter (such as the bilingual French schools in the state sector).

What features are you looking for in a school? People's ideas of 'progressive' might vary, so knowing a few of the features you'd most like could be helpful.

SavoyCabbage Wed 07-Sep-16 07:08:53

I would describe Steiner schools as the opposite of progressive. With far more rules than the average state school.

tartanguru Wed 07-Sep-16 08:41:49

There are a few of the schools from the original 20's/30's progressive movement around. The major ones being Frensham Heights in Farnham, Bedales in Petersfield and St Christopher's in Letchworth. None of them have uniform and teachers and pupils are on first name terms.

Ou DS is at Frensham as we wanted a more progressive education but didn't like the Steiner philosophy.

tethersend Wed 07-Sep-16 20:16:06

Columbia Primary in Bethnal Green
Lauriston Primary in Hackney

Both have no uniform and are state schools. Columbia is very creative, but like all state community schools, it is bound by a rigid curriculum designed by the government.

Helsinski Wed 07-Sep-16 21:13:04

Thanks everyone! That certainly gives us some starting point to start looking into. I agree with those not sure about Steiner, although interesting, I'd need to do some more careful reading to be convinced.
The news on the current state of education are rather scary, I hate the idea of DS being stressed about school aged 9! I went to a French Freinet inspired school and loved it so much, but there doesn't seem to be any of those in the UK.

Sleeperandthespindle Wed 07-Sep-16 21:16:22

Park and Sands schools in Devon.

Maki79 Wed 07-Sep-16 21:25:10

My friends son goes to the non uniform school in Forrest Hill, she loves it! The head apparently is very good.

Steiner schools certainly do have a uniform. You will be given a checklist of clothes you are not allowed to wear with your registration pack.

Also, I feel I must say that I was SO sure I wanted a creative school for my dd. It really didn't work out as she craves routine, she wasn't a 'sponge' and she ended up very frustrated as she wasn't learning. In the end we had to move schools.

Good luck in your search!

Vinorosso74 Wed 07-Sep-16 21:33:26

There's a handful of non uniform state primaries in Islington. They are all over subscribed schools but there is a fair bit of movement of children out and then in to the school.

Bitlost Thu 08-Sep-16 06:42:19

I think I know the school in forest hill. My friend's daughter goes there and a friend of mine worked there. No uniform doesn't mean no stress...

404NotFound Thu 08-Sep-16 07:58:03

Camden, Islington and Haringey all have several non-uniform primary schools. Camden and Haringey have some non-uniform secondaries as well.

attacktheblock Fri 09-Sep-16 20:21:33

Henry Maynard in Walthamstow
John ball in blackheath

No uniform in either. Have worked in both, great schools

JacquettaWoodville Fri 09-Sep-16 20:25:20

Infant uniforms are usually quite low key though, coloured polo shirts and sweatshirt s, dark trousers, trainer like black shoes.

Not massively different to what kids might wear anyway

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