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To think that it is ridiculous for a school to use a uniform supplier in a town 35 miles away?

(28 Posts)
doritosmonster Fri 26-Apr-13 11:31:32


DD is at secondary school, in year 9. The school have always been fairly strict about uniform, but the official jumpers and ties, which are compulsory, have been available from a local supplier. Pricey but at least available locally.

As of September there will be a new uniform; blazers, new ties, new PE kit, shirts with house colours on the collar. Which in itself is ridiculous and will be loads of expense. And to add insult to injury the supplier for the items is in a town 35 miles away and they don't do online ordering or mail order in any capacity, you have to travel to the shop to buy the items.

A few people have complained to the school and they have basically been told it's tough titties, that's the new uniform, that's the supplier, get over it.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 26-Apr-13 11:35:49

That is absolutely ridiculous - both choosing a shop so far away, and bringing in a new school uniform with no changeover period, so parents could get the use out of the uniform they already have, and buy the new uniform when the current one wears out.

Ds1 and ds2 went to schools that had lots of uniform requirements - blazers, pe kit, pe bag, tie, rugby socks (at £6 a pair!) - it cost us a fortune to buy it all when they started school, but at least we only then had to replace the stuff that wore out - or got damaged (dh sponged a stain off ds2's £45 blazer, decided to iron it dry, and left a huge iron mark on the front - the blazer was less than one term old!).

Was there no consultation or prior warning of any sort?

Sirzy Fri 26-Apr-13 11:35:59

That's rediculous! Are they not coming into school at some point to allow people to come in and buy?

I would put in a written complaint to the govenors and state that until such time as a reasonable alternative in introduced you will send your child in in trousers and jumper in the same colour as the uniform but won't be purchasing the new one. I would encourage others to do the same aswell.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 26-Apr-13 11:36:21

I think that's appalling, maybe start a petition, contact the PTA

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 11:36:58

Thirty five miles away is ridiculous! We have a bit if a trek for our school uniform suppliers (separate ones for uniform and PE kit, which are miles apart hmm) but not that far!

What sort of area do you live in? I could understand if you are very rural and options for school suppliers are limited, but if there are other good options, then they are being very inconsiderate. Maybe the local supplier won't provide what the school wants, or if they do it would be more expensive?

cantspel Fri 26-Apr-13 11:38:46

Our uniform shop is miles away but as the old local uniform shop closed there was not a lot they could do about it. And as it is a one off trip once a year it is hardly a major problem.

BackforGood Fri 26-Apr-13 11:39:18

I think the more that complain, and say they are not travelling a 70mile round trip to buy uniform they don't even want to replace, the more the school will have to think about it.
Surely they could say to the supplier that you will get our uniform contract if you make it practical for our parents to get the uniform.
In both ds and dds schools, the suppliers come in with all their stock on the evening of 'movinf up day' in July (anyone can get more unifrom then, it's just a good day to pick as obviously all the Yr7s will need uniform).

doritosmonster Fri 26-Apr-13 11:43:03

We're not in a particularly rural location; I live in a large town, and off the top of my head can think of three local stores/suppliers that supply other schools in the area.

I wouldn't mind as much if it was a one off trip, but in the past year DD had a PE top stolen from her bag in the changing rooms, so that needed to be replaced immediately. And her jumper got a rip in the sleeve, so again I had to replace that. There are little replacements sometimes needed here and there throughout the year. Also like most teenagers she is growing quickly. what fits her during the summer holidays may well not fit her in January.

jellybrain Fri 26-Apr-13 11:48:39

Yanbu that's ridiculous! I have no idea where the suppliers for DCs school is but, orders are placed with the school and distributed to the kids. Can't your dds school do this?

cantspel Fri 26-Apr-13 11:50:48

If you have other local suppliers then go into one of them and ask if they would be willing to approach the school for permission to stock their uniform.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 26-Apr-13 11:51:52

We live in London. When dd now 21, went to secondry school the only place we could buy her uniform was from a shop in ST Albans! The PE kit could be bought from a shop local to her school. Though you could order over the phone. They held a uniform sale at the school before she started in yr7.

My younger dd is going to a different secondry school next September. Exactly the same set up with the same shop in ST Albans!! At least i am familiar with the shop, location and outrageous expense!

Justforlaughs Fri 26-Apr-13 11:55:32

I would start a petition and if all the parents stick together and refuse point blank to travel to the suppliers then the school will have to come up with a solution. Otherwise suggest that the school/ pta set up an ordering system.

MidniteScribbler Fri 26-Apr-13 12:31:54

Could you approach the suppliers directly and ask them to come at a certain time to order? If the business knows that there are a guaranteed number willing to be there and buy it would be worth their while coming.

wheredidiputit Fri 26-Apr-13 12:48:01

Could you suggest they use Marks and Spencer. They now sell specific school uniforms and donate 5% of uniform sales back to the your school.

mrsjay Fri 26-Apr-13 12:55:32

that is just daft nearly 80 mile round trip to get uniform wonder which bright spark came up with that, I would demand an open night at school get the suppliers to come to school and you can all order there,

JackieTheFart Fri 26-Apr-13 13:11:11


My children are not even reception yet, but we don't have a car. So this school think it is acceptable for a family to do a round trip of 70 miles on public transport?

SuedeEffectPochette Fri 26-Apr-13 13:18:32

It is ridiculous! Blast back to the 70s with your use of "tough titties". Made me smile. Must remember to revive that phrase- it's great!

LauraShigihara Fri 26-Apr-13 13:26:42

My children's secondary school did something very similar and in their case it was a way of selecting pupils by stealth.

If parents have to travel long distances and pay exhorbitant prices for complicated uniform then the less well off parents will frankly choose another school.

It makes me very angry that schools can get away with it. I find, the older I get the less I understand the need for uniform anyway. But that's a whole other thread.

Scholes34 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:32:38

This shows a lack of respect for parents and their time. My DD's ballet school gets its uniform from a shop a similar distance away (there are alternative suppliers of ballet kit in town, but not the colours/skirts we require). However, the school simply keeps a stock on site, so we don't have to travel. At the very least parents should be able to persuade governors to adopt a similar arrangement for your school. I suspect the parents are a captive market, so why make them do the journey when no-one else is going to be buying the stock?

Bunbaker Fri 26-Apr-13 13:37:05

DD's school stocks the ties, blazers and PE kit. Shirts, skirts and trousers can be bought anywhere as long as they fit the criteria.

Why can't the school do this?

Startail Fri 26-Apr-13 13:37:10

I get annoyed enough at 5 and 15 miles to ours. They just both happen to be in places mean a special trip and living in the sticks I like to make maximum use if diesel.

School uniform shops should in Tesco's!!

Thepursuitofhappiness Fri 26-Apr-13 13:40:10

The secondary school should phase in the uniform requirement, at mine when they changed the uniform it applied to year 7 only an was phased over 5 years.

35 miles away is ridiculous. School should at least organise for them to come to The school for fittings once a term.

lljkk Fri 26-Apr-13 13:46:14

YANBU. Name the school.

EldritchCleavage Fri 26-Apr-13 13:50:23

Can you raise this via the parent governor or something? It just sounds so inflexible. At the very least the supplier could set up at the school a couple of times for people to buy that way.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 26-Apr-13 13:52:37

Could you complain to the Local Education Authority?

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