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To ask the school to buy my children's clothes?

(196 Posts)
Ivegotbills Fri 12-Apr-19 13:19:59

DS and DD came home from school yesterday with a letter regarding new school uniform. New head is starting in September and he's doing that thing some of them do of making his mark on the school by telling everyone in it what to wear.

They already have a uniform which I have to shell out for every year for the pair of them. Now this bloke is demanding:
- new blazers. Meaning the ones we have and which fit them will be useless.
- logo trousers and skirts from a named supplier.
- branded PE kit from a named supplier. That's right, branded items to run around a field in for an hour a week.

I've worked out that this little lot will cost me £45+£45 for blazers, £63+£63 for trousers and skirts (three of each which I regard as a minimum - currently they're in supermarket clothes which I have five of each of) and £80+£80 PE kits = £401.

WIBU to write to the school requesting they provide these items which they are now stipulating are necessary in order for my children to access their "free" education?

BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail Fri 12-Apr-19 13:21:08

State school? Single supplier is against the rules - will find link.

Jackshouse Fri 12-Apr-19 13:21:11

What years will the students be going into?

SnuggyBuggy Fri 12-Apr-19 13:22:05

Could you get some other parents on side?

BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail Fri 12-Apr-19 13:23:36

Guidance : www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform

Advice on gov.uk says contact CAB if you’re being made to buy expensive uniform : www.gov.uk/school-uniform

BringOnTheScience Fri 12-Apr-19 13:25:20

There should be a transition period, especially for older pupils.

outpinked Fri 12-Apr-19 13:25:42

Completely unfair. I’m certain you won’t be the only pissed off parent, I would gather support from fellow parents and complain.

BrillyPribble Fri 12-Apr-19 13:25:48

That sounds completely ott. My DDs school had a change of uniform (new head, natch!) but it was a phased changeover so pupils could wear the old uniform or the new one for a year and year 10/11 didn't have to change at all. Plus they ensured that, while they have a specific style, you can buy the uniform in a range of places including a supermarket.
I would canvass opinions of other parents and object as a group strongly.

Wolfiefan Fri 12-Apr-19 13:25:59

It’s April though. So some of what they have may have been grown out of by September? Doesn’t the school say they can wear some old uniform whilst it still fits? (DS’s school changed PE kit but we didn’t have to buy the new style until he outgrew his old one.)

Jackshouse Fri 12-Apr-19 13:26:03

I asked about the year groups because the school I worked in gave parents a year to transition to the new uniform and yr10 and yr11 were exempt from the new uniform.

Raver84 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:27:33

That's outrageous I'd contact the school and offer to go halves as you'd be replacing some uniform anyway.

HeartvsHead Fri 12-Apr-19 13:28:24

My school did this but it was only new purchase items that were to be replaced with the logo ones. Students were allowed to wear their existing uniform until outgrown.

Otherwise that is a lot of money to stump up!

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 12-Apr-19 13:28:36

That's the run of the mill over here in Ireland. A large number of schools have uniforms and some have crests embroidered on to jumpers, sweatshirts, polo shirts, tracksuit bottoms, jackets etc.
Some primary schools even go so far as to add a tiny thin stripe of piping of a contrasting colour along the leg of the tracksuit bottoms so that you can't buy generic navy or grey bottoms, you have to go to the uniform supply shop instead.

Perhaps there might be a way that you could keep the uniform you already have that already fits your child(ren) and when the time comes that they have grown out of them, you will buy the 'new' uniform? Could you approach the new head with that as a suggestion?

BreconBeBuggered Fri 12-Apr-19 13:29:42

I don't think you'd be unreasonable to ask about a transitional period where pupils are allowed to wear the old uniform until they require new items. I think changing to a more expensive uniform is a bloody terrible idea, and the assumption that parents can afford to bin perfectly serviceable items is ludicrous, not to mention bad for the environment.

I know when we were considering changing our school logo, we (the governors) would have provided at least one of each new garment to each child, alongside permission to wear older ones until they were outgrown or worn out, but we weren't talking silly prices.

user1471426142 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:30:46

I remember when my school introduced blazers they only started from the new intake so it took a number of years for the uniform to work across the whole school but meant people weren’t forking out for something they’d only wear for a year. That seems far more reasonable.

MrsWillGardner Fri 12-Apr-19 13:30:59

We had this with my sons secondary school. They had a complete new uniform from polo tops to blazer and tie. Only school in the town with this colour blazer too so couldn’t even get a box standard one from say M&S. Be aware though to get your order in sooner rather than later as the uniform shop in our town was inundated with orders they just about coped with and the ran out of badged skirts so some girls had to start the new school year in incomplete uniform as the parents left it till the fortnight before school started to order in.

PotterHead1985 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:32:12

Yup. Normal in Ireland. Luckily when I was in Primary it was easily sourced. Few years after I left Primary they brought in branded gym gear. No idea as to cost.

Now Secondary. My school made you buy everything down to culottes (sp?) from a specific shop in a big city 2hrs away by bus. And fuck me sideways it was expensive. My poor mother was a LP on a DSP

MrsWillGardner Fri 12-Apr-19 13:32:16

Just to add, the school wanted all students bar yr11 to wear the new uniform.

PotterHead1985 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:33:59

Argh posted too soon cos I dropped my phone on my face!!! grinblushhmm

My LP mother was on a DSP (DWP) payment and the uniform cost her several hundred Punts.

I noticed that this year for the first time the local cheap supplier is being allowed supply the uniform - I left 6th form in 2003!!!! shock

BlueSkiesLies Fri 12-Apr-19 13:35:54

Such bullshit.

Heads need to get of their egotistical bandwagon re new uniforms.

Makes me think your new head will be a useless twat who won't actually get a grip with real issues in the school but merely will do some window dressing.

Write and ask how the new uniform fits in with this guidance:
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/514978/School_Uniform_Guidance.pdf

Especially regarding prohibitive cost, lack of availability in lower cost shops e.g. supermarkets and transition period.

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 12-Apr-19 13:40:34

Oh, and just in case you think that buying the uniform is expensive, in Ireland we have to buy the school books too....and some secondary schools have started using iPads instead of books so in those schools, parents have to buy (they may be able to pay an annual rental) an iPad before their child starts in the school. They then have to pay a fee to have the text books downloaded to the iPads.

It's money money money over here.

Pinkmonkeybird Fri 12-Apr-19 13:42:39

Not on at all (the school, that is). They need a transition period. Our school introduced a new uniform recently and had a 2 year transition. The upper years didn't have to have the new uniform but Yrs 8 and 9 were given 2 years go change it over.

dronesdroppingzopiclone Fri 12-Apr-19 13:45:32

How do poor people in Ireland afford all this? Between this and being expected to give couples hundreds of euros as wedding gifts, I'm assuming everyone there must be minted.

brizzlemint Fri 12-Apr-19 13:45:42

Clearly this new head has been reading the book 'How to unofficially select the pupils'.

You are not at all unreasonable in asking for a transition period; that is what happened at the local primary and high school when the uniform changed - so much so that even younger siblings were allowed to wear the old uniform when they started if it had been passed down from an older sibling.

FamilyOfAliens Fri 12-Apr-19 13:46:13

You’d definitely not be unreasonable to ask if there’s a transition period for people who can’t afford it all in one go.

But if you want the school to treat your request seriously, I’d suggest a more mature and less confrontational tone than comes across from your OP.

NameChangeSameRage Fri 12-Apr-19 13:48:22

YANBU.
When I was at school, they gave five years warning and changeover. So the Y7s were the only ones wearing it at first, but as items wore out, gradually everything was replaced until everyone was in the new stuff 3/4 years down the line.

Faultymain5 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:49:11

As long as you read the letter correctly and don't go in all guns blazing; As long as your kids don't grow a foot tall by September (my son's blazer lasted him 4 years, if he was in year 7 when this happened, I wouldn't be happy), then by all means, ask them to pay. But make sure they haven't given a clause that says "once grown out of current uniform, new uniform is mandatory".

Then that wouldn't be unreasonable.

perfectstorm Fri 12-Apr-19 13:50:55

I think most schools allow a transition period, where the old uniforms are worn until outgrown. That's been so in the school my child went to. Perhaps clarify that? It's reasonable, if so.

thefinn Fri 12-Apr-19 13:51:18

Very very unfair, and not on. I'm almost sure you aren't the only parent feeling this way. Good luck.

palebluewalls Fri 12-Apr-19 13:52:48

I'm a teacher and I'd complain about this.

When we had a switch over of uniform we had it over a period of time so for a while kids were wearing a mixture of old and new uniform until they outgrew it.

CanILeavenowplease Fri 12-Apr-19 13:54:44

WIBU to write to the school requesting they provide these items which they are now stipulating are necessary in order for my children to access their "free" education?

Yes. I realise you are being sarcastic but as a parent clothing your children is your responsibility. Considering the clothes will be worn for a whole academic year, is it really that expensive? What would it cost you if they weren’t in uniform but were in ‘normal’ clothes in school? It is a lot of money for people to find when they have a limited income but even then, we know it’s coming and both supermarkets and independent stores stock the year round. I throw shirts in with my shopping and for blazers and PE kit, I have a money box I throw change into - 50ps and £2 coins - which makes a huge difference come August.m

PopWentTheWeasel Fri 12-Apr-19 13:57:05

We had this last September with my son's school. They limited the range of colours you could wear (so only black trousers not black or grey etc.) and brought in monogrammed jumpers. September start with no "outgrowing period" I suspect to prevent old clothes being passed down to younger siblings / friends rather than being withdrawn.

We had to buy his entire new uniform again and school were threatening to remove children from their classroom if they didn't have the correct uniform on - essentially make them sit in solitary confinement until parents brought the correct clothing.

We complained. and got a "tough shit the head doesn't care" email back. You might need to take this to the governors to get anywhere with a complaint.

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Apr-19 13:59:07

How do poor people in Ireland afford all this? Between this and being expected to give couples hundreds of euros as wedding gifts, I'm assuming everyone there must be minted.

Wages are higher. But you pay for freaking everything here (don’t forget healthcare). And taxes are higher than the UK too.

I think there is assistance for lower income families for school books. Not sure about uniforms.

SunshineCake Fri 12-Apr-19 14:00:42

It is against the law but it's shit. I have three kids at grammars and their jumpers, PE kits, blazers and girls blouses ffs are all branded and only available at the expensive school shop. Kilts were £50 each. Their fifth year skirts were meant to be bespoke £30 ones but fuck that. Bought identical for under £15 from amazon.

PurpleCrazyHorse Fri 12-Apr-19 14:05:54

I would definitely push for a transition period so they can wear their current uniform until it is outgrown. Or to allow generic similar items for existing pupils. I'm surprised the governors didn't work this all through and have a plan for existing pupils, I certainly would have been very vocally critical in our meetings, of our head, if there wasn't a plan to support families.

When DD moved cities and therefore schools, our new head said she could wear her previous school uniform until it was outgrown, despite it being obviously a completely different colour with a different logo etc. They wore grey skirts anyway, so that was the same and so we just needed a couple of logo cardigans. But it was a really lovely gesture.

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 14:07:51

No that completely takes the piss.

There is no need for it.

Nothing wrong with supermarket/high street trousers and skirts . The head is making you pay for his need to piss all over the school.

This shit is just anyway to weed out all the people who might "drag the school down" . Exclusion via the back door. Piss off single parents and poor people hmm

Uniforms should be sensible and affordable and easily available if they have to have them at all.

This kind of nonsense is unfair and unreasonable

LuluJakey1 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:12:24

Is this a local authority school in England? If so they can not name a supplier for uniform items. They are not allowed to. Uniform items should be widely available at very reasonable prices eg supermarkets, chain stores. This technique of naming suppliers is designed to put parents who have low incomes off sending their children to the school- often an academy. That is because low income is often linked to low achievement and less than good behaviour and these schools don't want children who will affect their exam results or misbehave.
I would ask for an appointment with the Headteacher. If any of your children qualify for pupil premium funding, the school can use this to buy their uniforms. Many schools who changeuniformprovide every child with the first expensive items - eg blazer and kilt.

Pigflewpast Fri 12-Apr-19 14:12:53

Those guidelines are interesting. Our ( academy) school has introduced more and more logo clothes only available from one supplier, and the only non logo clothes other than white shirts are navy boys trousers and navy tights, which are not easy to get from supermarkets. Everything else - blazers, skirts, pe kits and ties are all from this one supplier. Even the shoe rules are very difficult, and don’t allow for “sturdy” shoes or boots in winter.

Faultymain5 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:13:14

@CanILeavenowplease
What would it cost you if they weren’t in uniform but were in ‘normal’ clothes in school?

But they are in uniform and if OP is anything like me, uniform can last for at least 2 years. I said above my DS's blazer lasted from years 7 to year 10. More than half way through year 10 I had to buy a new one. It would start to get embarassing otherwise.

So no I don't know that ridiculous expenditure is coming each year and 6 months notice for 2 kids (good reason to have them 6 years apartsmile) funnily enough is not enough notice.

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Apr-19 14:14:11

This kind of nonsense is unfair and unreasonable

It’s totally unjustifiable. The head should be told to shove it up his ass (or something more diplomatic)

Saladd0dger Fri 12-Apr-19 14:15:33

I think thats awful. My 14 year olds school are changing uniforms from September. The school are supplying the key items though. They have also made it much more affordable to buy now. £20 a blazer instead of £49 etc.

PotterHead1985 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:15:41

There is a 'back to school clothing and footwear allowance' for some poorer families in Ireland but I can tell you it doesn't make a dint in the BtS costs.

Drogosnextwife Fri 12-Apr-19 14:20:35

And what exactly will they do if you and other parents refuse, surely it would be illegal to refuse a child an education because they don't have the right clothes!

Faultymain5 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:25:29

@Drogosnextwife - they count on parents not wanting to rock the boat. I keep reading on here that no-one wants to be "that" parent. If we're all trying not to be "that" parent, where are all of "those" parents coming from that schools complain about?

Drogosnextwife Fri 12-Apr-19 14:29:50

I would be absolutely refusing to shell out for a whole new uniform just because there as I new head teacher coming, who does he think he is?

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 14:31:55

And what exactly will they do if you and other parents refuse, surely it would be illegal to refuse a child an education because they don't have the right clothes!

Doesnt seem.to stop them sending the kids home.

This is why people need to stop believing that uniform.is for some "greater good" that it's a leveller and hides who the poor people are.

It stopped being that a long time ago. Bow it's just a way to stop these people applying to go there . Ironic how they would happily take the funding for children on pupil premium but dont really want them there.

Nothing that costs the 400 quid to provide can be considered a leveller.

What can a kid in a 15 pound logod shirt do that a kid in an.asda shirt for 3 quid cant?

Is there some.magic power to the thread used for the logo?

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:32:28

I would bet that the school has joined a MAT and wants to rebrand the new regime.

It’s true to say that schools should not have one supplier only for their uniform and that there should be choice available for parents and ideally, an online with delivery option. Difficult to know how many are aware of it though and MATs do tend to march to their own drum.

I think at the very least, they should offer you the option of non branded supermarket items, with a logo badge you could sew or stick on.

Youngandfree Fri 12-Apr-19 14:41:43

Yes I’m in Ireland but thank god our school allows them to wear whatever they want for PE day 🙏🤗 books/stationary/photocoping etc this year Cost approves 170!! That was excluding uniform. But we can use generic uniform (no crests) so usually buy from next or m&s.

Youngandfree Fri 12-Apr-19 14:42:28

*Approx

isabellerossignol Fri 12-Apr-19 14:42:31

That's totally standard where I am (N Ireland) for a secondary school uniform. It's a pain but it's unavoidable because all the schools are the same.

AmICrazyorWhat2 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:45:27

There should be a transition period, especially for older pupils.

Yes! DS's school has had a few uniform changes since he started there five years ago and they always give us a year's grace period to let the children outgrow their current items, e.g. they changed the colour of the PE kit but we could "mix and match" for a year if the old one still fitted.

I'd suggest contacting the PTA and suggesting a transition period.

AryaStarkWolf Fri 12-Apr-19 14:46:43

My school did this but it was only new purchase items that were to be replaced with the logo ones. Students were allowed to wear their existing uniform until outgrown.

Otherwise that is a lot of money to stump up!

Yeah, this happened in my daughters school a few years back and it was the same as what you've said.

Are you sure that these rules don't apply OP, I would have thought that new uniform crossovers would always work that way, it's very unfair otherwise

Bankofenglandfiver Fri 12-Apr-19 14:53:23

They will more then likely have a transition period where the old uniform can be worn.

missyB1 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:55:13

If this is illegal then why are so many schools getting away with it?! It’s a blatant form of discrimination. The new head is probably hoping to shed a few of the poorer pupils. Parents really need to stand up to this sort of thing.

naynaybiscuit Fri 12-Apr-19 14:58:52

Either way it's shit of them. Who gives a toss what they are wearing? Providing they're smart and presentable, does it really matter.

Even if there is a transition period it's still shit of them because kids can be cruel and the ones in old uniform will be "different". Plus then you can't use it for younger siblings if in good condition etc.

I'm dreading when my dc are in school...I feel like I'm going to be "that" parent at this rate grin

cushellekoala Fri 12-Apr-19 14:59:52

Interesting as all the state high schools in our area have uniform from a single supplier, which i disagree with in principle. Luckily DDs school only the blazer, tie, skirt and pe kit come from there. I can get shirts, jumpers etc from M and S. M and S also have a very similar skirt for half the price but we won't mention that. The other high school we applied to had literally everything from the specified supplier and the blazers are £80 each (skirts £38 each) . When i complained that i thought it was unfair this supplier had the monopoly and that you had no choice to buy stuff at more affordable shops i was shouted down by other parents who seemingly have an unlimited budget that the supplier was a local family business and we should all be supporting them. I made it my mission to buy as little as possible (for example tights, plain pe leggings etc can be easily bought cheaper elsewhere) in the school supplier but most parents do not seem to question it and spend several hundred pounds in there "because its easier".

Drogosnextwife Fri 12-Apr-19 15:15:55

This is why people need to stop believing that uniform.is for some "greater good" that it's a leveller and hides who the poor people are.

Completely agree. I have always found uniform a strange concept, especially now children are doing more physical activities in school. Surely suit trousers, shirts and ties and leather shoes aren't the best thing for this. I went to pick up my DS early a few weeks ago and they were put in the play ground doing some sort of running excercise, he was in his leather school shoes, not allowed to wear their gym (sand shoes) outside. I bought him black trainers that weekend, I wouldn't do physical activities in leather shoes, why should my child. Also young children in ties is just a stupid idea IMO.

Acis Fri 12-Apr-19 15:16:01

Considering the clothes will be worn for a whole academic year, is it really that expensive?

What is expensive, @CanILeaveNowPlease, is throwing away a perfectly good blazer which still fits because the head's decided he fancies something different.

Acis Fri 12-Apr-19 15:17:48

If this is illegal then why are so many schools getting away with it?

Because parents don't know. Spread the word! Be prepared to shop Academies and Free Schools (who are the main culprits) to the Department for Education every time.

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Apr-19 15:25:00

Surely suit trousers, shirts and ties and leather shoes aren't the best thing for this

Especially given how casual workplace dress has become. In many professional sectors jeans and sneakers are the norm now. Even in the most formal sectors, ties are becoming a rarity.

Yet we make teens dress like bank managers from the 1950s. confused

Acis Fri 12-Apr-19 15:27:39

When I'm dictator I'll ban blazers as part of school uniform. They're ridiculously inconvenient, expensive and uncomfortable, and totally unnecessary. The same goes for ties.

Mind you, when I'm dictator I'll probably ban school uniform altogether anyway.

TopBitchoftheWitches Fri 12-Apr-19 15:29:51

backonceagain thank you !

My daughter's school is introducing a new skirt because the males cannot control themselves and we can only purchase from one supplier !

RomanyQueen1 Fri 12-Apr-19 15:31:58

I don't know why they don't do away with uniform, and let them wear what they want. My dd school doesn't have one and jeans and hoodies are the same whether Primark or labelled.
There is no difference between the very rich and the very poor.

cushellekoala Fri 12-Apr-19 15:34:20

I don't disagree with school uniform per se, i do disagree with telling parents of children at state schools they have to buy a very specific style of blazer/skirt that can only be purchased from one shop or supplier. The supplier we are obliged to go to has plenty of navy school uniforms for various different schools in local towns. Why on earth can't parents go and buy a navy skirt from wherever they please depending on budget - be that tesco or harrods...? My DS junior school changed pe tshirts but there was a transition period and the items were only £5.

makingmiracles Fri 12-Apr-19 15:34:56

It’s disgusting how difficult they make it, I was lucky my child was starting secondary in the sept they launched the new uniform so we purchased the new one but there were many unhappy parents who’d only had the uniform 1-2 yrs who had to then replace, only yr 11 were exempt from having to buy new.

There should, I think be an option to purchase the logo badge, that could then be sewn on, would make it a bit cheaper.

I resent the fact that the uniform, despite being £££ is shocking quality, my youngest son is very light on clothing, I can always charity shop/sell it on after he’s grown out of it as it’s always in good condition, but even with him, the blazer buttons came off within months(and I can’t find the same size and shape replacements at any local sewing shops) and the blazer lining is coming away from the blazer at the back, for something that cost £40+ I think that’s terrible.

I also have a bee in my bonnet about the fact they insisted boys had to have rugby shirts, as well as pe shirts, but the girls don’t as they don’t play rugby, so if you have a boy, you shit out again money wise as the rugby top is another £25

Catsandbootsandbootsandcats Fri 12-Apr-19 15:37:37

They changed the PE kit at my kids secondary school. I didn't even know till they grew out of it and went to buy a new one. Because they just stopped stocking the old one and let everyone buy the new when they needed. So the new year 7s had the new one, and everyone after that just bought the new ones when they needed to. No fuss.

There's no way I could afford to buy a whole new uniform for 2 kids either, it's ridiculous.

PuppyMonkey Fri 12-Apr-19 15:43:37

DD started secondary in September and her school had a new head who did exactly the same thing OP - introduced blazer and logo skirt/trousers. However, the school PAID for every single pupil’s blazer. And although we were expected to buy the skirt, he actually had a change of heart before the new school year and ditched the logo, so we could buy any old black trousers or skirt.

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 15:45:45

It’s disgusting how difficult they make it
It's also incredibly ill thought out

There are yr sevens who arent far off the size of grown men.

Girls bodies change alot between 11 and 16.

Trying to squeeze kids the size of adults and kids at varying stages of development into the same few select designated items is a recipe for disaster.the same item looks different on every body and its humiliating for kids to be sent home for non compliance whilst in regulation uniform.

How are those children meant to feel about themselves

And parents having to spend a fortune on adult clothing and worrying it gets spotted when they have little in the way of options of what else their kid can wear seems ridiculous an unnecessary stress

cantfindname Fri 12-Apr-19 15:52:46

The biggest local secondary here did this some years ago Aside from the fact that I was a single parent and each child's uniform was £150 for only one of each item, they also managed to nearly bankrupt the local shop who had ordered and paid for the previous uniform!

This particular uniform was so hideous that both my girls were in tears having to wear it. It included a waxed jacket that STANK; I hung it on the line for most of the summer and still the smell remained.

It needs solidarity from ALL the parents to stop this happening; they can't exclude the whole school.

yaela123 Fri 12-Apr-19 15:54:16

Have you spoken to other parents because I'm sure there will be others that feel the same? Then you can try and ask the school for at least a transition period of 2 years or whatever. If a lot of parents complain then hopefully you can make a difference.

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 15:57:58

It needs solidarity from ALL the parents to stop this happening; they can't exclude the whole school

I'll probably get shot for saying this but that wont ever happen. For many parents ( except us lot here wink ) , I think there is alot of snobbery behind it all. If no where had uniform how on earth would we know their kid went to the outstanding school in the posh side of town if they look just like their sink school counterparts in the crumbling comp down the road.

WaxOnFeckOff Fri 12-Apr-19 16:02:23

I'm ambivalent about uniform. When our high school changed theirs, they played the long game. New uniform was required for all those starting at the school in first year. Anyone else who was buying new anyway were welcome to also buy the new colour. Anyone already wearing the old uniform was welcome to continue until it was being replaced due to being outgrown or worn out etc. That was the rule for each subsequent year starting and before long everyone was in new colours and no-one moaned at all.

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 16:03:47

It's alsoworth noting that some schools send home or give detentions or Marks on reports fir not having the right equipment. Imagine having to pay 400 quid to get through the doors unchallenged then being sent home cos the scientific calculator will have to wait til next pay cheque

BlueSkiesLies Fri 12-Apr-19 16:11:07

When I'm dictator I'll ban blazers as part of school uniform. They're ridiculously inconvenient, expensive and uncomfortable, and totally unnecessary. The same goes for ties.

I shall ban pretty much all school uniform.

My ideal would be no uniform but since people don’t seem to like that I would go for:

Black, navy or grey below the waist. So trousers, shorts, skirts, whatever.

Plain black trainers or shoes. No obvious logo.

Plain polo shirt in black navy, grey, white, burgundy.

Logo jumper in choice of black, navy grey, white, burgundy.

Done. Comfortable. Cheap. Ability to dress for the weather.

I would ban high heels for girls. No need for girls to curtail their ability to walk for some outdated notion of beauty at school.

HarryTheSteppenwolf Fri 12-Apr-19 16:14:08

State school? Single supplier is against the rules - will find link.

There aren't any rules. There is DfE guidance but the DfE doesn't enforce it and won't take any notice of parents who complain about unfair uniform - or any other - rules. All the state schools in my county have a single uniform supplier.

There's no point trying to reason with head teachers: they won't listen to anyone. If you have an effective board of governors (rare in any school; unknown in academy chains) it's worth trying to get them to control the head. Otherwise, the best thing to do would be to organize as many parents as possible to ignore the new uniform rules, but this is extremely difficult to do.

WindsweptEgret Fri 12-Apr-19 16:15:31

I would expect at least a two year transition period. DS is likely to get three years out of his blazer and at least two out of his PE kit and trousers (in year 8 now). That would be the bare minimum to cover one child outgrowing uniform, not considering parents who planned to hand down uniform or to buy second hand.

BlueSkiesLies Fri 12-Apr-19 16:16:01

My school had 5 different sweatshirt colours to choose from. Then they got rid of one of the colours.

It was a massive badge of honour for younger siblings to have the ‘old’ sweatshirt colour long after it wasn’t available to buy!

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 16:21:26

blue

You illustrated another issue there perfectly.

That even when schools appear to have reasonable guidelines that on the surface look sufficiently sensible, that actually it makes it harder.

For instance I'll give an example or two from my dds school.

Now we were allowed to purchase some items separately . Sports leggings allowed. Great. Black sports leggings. No problem? Aaah but the no logo stuff makes it harder. Cos try going to sports direct and finding a completely plain set of sports leggings without so much as a nike tick.

Plain black base layer. Sensible on the surface. Aaah but most base layers have coloured seam things on them. So no good. That orange seam makes it unsuitable .

Nlt to worry though school uniform supplier sells poor quality stuff at inflated prices to get round this issue hmm

corythatwas Fri 12-Apr-19 16:35:36

"Yes. I realise you are being sarcastic but as a parent clothing your children is your responsibility. Considering the clothes will be worn for a whole academic year, is it really that expensive? What would it cost you if they weren’t in uniform but were in ‘normal’ clothes in school?"

With normal clothes you could source from Primark, you could use hand-me-downs from siblings and cousins even if they didn't go to the right school, you could use charity shops. Some families are quite simply poor.

Petalflowers Fri 12-Apr-19 16:36:34

Locally, when schools have changed uniform, there has been a two year transitional period.

TopBitchoftheWitches Fri 12-Apr-19 16:52:28

I had already expressed my concerns to my daughters school regarding th cost of this new skirt which can only be purchased from one supplier. I have now also asked for the reasons for making this change (this should be interesting), why no transition period and whether the boys also have to immediately make changes to their uniforms, at more expense to the parents.

Just to add, this is a new headmaster as well.

caoraich Fri 12-Apr-19 17:23:59

I would actually go down the waste route with this, if there's no transitional period.

Their current logoed blazers etc will have no value for charity shops or other schools. The best that could be hoped is they go to fabric recycling.

Most schools are trying to be more eco friendly and scrapping a whole lot of serviceable material goes against this ethos.

GnomeDePlume Fri 12-Apr-19 17:29:47

It is such a sign of weakness that a new Head feels he has to make his mark by changing the uniform. It smacks all too much of a cat spraying to mark its territory - perhaps suggest that as a cheaper alternative?

BlueSkiesLies Fri 12-Apr-19 17:31:38

Fair point Sarah re small logos and coloured seams/piping.

It is difficult!

Basically I would prefer no uniform.

PhilomenaButterfly Fri 12-Apr-19 17:47:30

Normal clothes are much cheaper. I buy them from Sainsbury's. For the DC's current uniform I have to buy logo'd jumpers, PE t-shirts and ties, plus the waste of money of chucking out the old uniform; for DD's secondary school in September I have to buy logo'd jumpers, blazer, PE shirt, skort, socks and school bag. We're on WTC so no school clothing allowance.

Ivegotbills Fri 12-Apr-19 18:02:47

Thanks everyone for your input. Seems IANBU! Mostly.

No transition period mentioned in the letter, just details of the clothes required and the supplier.

Agree with loads of the comments. Especially don't see how me spending a third of my monthly take home pay on this is in any way levelling. Kids will be yr 10 and yr 8. The blazer for the yr 10 I would have expected to last till the end of yr 11 as he's already had his massive teen growth spurt so I bought him a big one in September just gone when he reached six foot.

All their other clothes are from Primark and supermarkets - maybe they could have nicer than that if I wasn't spending on uniform on top of normal clothes too?

I don't know that many parents at the school as it's secondary and for complicated reasons not many of their primary friends went there so few parents that I've stayed in touch with from those years.

I'll definitely suggest transitional arrangements but also as a point of general principle I can't see the point of logo trousers, skirts and PE skirts. Can't see the point of blazers either tbh but they're everywhere now and lots of parents seem to think that nasty polyester costing fifty quid is the way to go so that ship has sailed.

Ivegotbills Fri 12-Apr-19 18:03:18

*PE kits, not skirts

TopBitchoftheWitches Fri 12-Apr-19 18:08:37

I should have said my daughters new skirt must have the emblem on it.
Available from just one supplier.
The school have responded saying someone will get back to me after the Easter break.

regmover Fri 12-Apr-19 18:10:12

Google - consultation on changes to school uniform. The DfE guidance makes it clear that schools should be able to demonstrate, just for example, best value for parents. it also strongly recommends that there is consultation on uniform changes. There's a very useful Word document that you could quote from.

ValleyoftheHorses Fri 12-Apr-19 18:13:00

When I was at school we had a new uniform. Fee paying school and you were allowed to wear old style until outgrown. If you can’t afford it YANBU to write and say you will buy the new style once old outgrown and if needed before it will have to be provided by the school.

ForalltheSaints Fri 12-Apr-19 18:13:04

Make your objections known now, or if the holidays, the first day of term, and get others to support you. Perhaps to the school governors too.

Perhaps try to seek where the clothes are made, or if the supplier has children at the school. The former means you could argue that you want ethical purchasing, the latter means a conflict of interest which is a further argument against single sourcing.

Perhaps let your MP know as well- there are local elections in many areas. Or the press if you are comfortable with being named.

aibutohavethisusername Fri 12-Apr-19 18:20:28

My DD’s former school added a blazer and the school paid for all the current pupils to have the blazer.

avocadochocolate Fri 12-Apr-19 18:27:49

YANBU. So the school is rebranding and they want the parents to pay for it.

As many have suggested, allowing children to grow out of existing uniform or at the very least a long transition period is the only fair way to do this.

Kahlua4me Fri 12-Apr-19 18:50:12

My dd has to have a pe top and hoodie with her initials on the front in big capital letters so we are not able to have hand me downs or give hers away unless we find someone with same initials!

HarryTheSteppenwolf Fri 12-Apr-19 18:56:51

Google - consultation on changes to school uniform. The DfE guidance makes it clear that schools should be able to demonstrate, just for example, best value for parents. it also strongly recommends that there is consultation on uniform changes. There's a very useful Word document that you could quote from.

Again, the DfE does not enforce this guidance and will not support parents who challenge schools over uniform requirements (I've tried it). Recommendations (however "strongly" they are recommended) are routinely ignored by schools, just as they are by the food, drinks and gambling indutries. Unless/until the DfE can be forced to set rules, schools will not take any notice of parents' objections.

SarahTancredi Fri 12-Apr-19 18:59:31

My dd has to have a pe top and hoodie with her initials on the front in big capital letters so we are not able to have hand me downs or give hers away unless we find someone with same initials!
This name stuff is another issue agreed. Its criminal that you cant hand down especially when they so expensive

And when they specify a sweatshirt with no hood. Never mind a plain black hoody can cost a fiver in asda try finding a black sweater

wildbhoysmama Fri 12-Apr-19 19:00:13

This never fails to amaze me. In my school, which I work in, the blazer is mandatory but they're £30 and we have a system where you can buy good second hand for £5 from the school office. There is logo knitwear but any plain can also be worn along with plain trousers/ skirt. The only other mandatory item is the tie at £4 and a sports top for PE in your house colours at £6.

I have no comprehension why schools do this- if you want to stamp your mark stamp it with new activities to benefit the kids- or change the tie, easy, inexpensive and noticeable ( we're in a consultation with pupils about a new tartan tie- I like it!).

WindsweptEgret Fri 12-Apr-19 19:02:26

My dd has to have a pe top and hoodie with her initials on the front in big capital letters so we are not able to have hand me downs or give hers away unless we find someone with same initials!
I've bought second hand with the full name on the front and just unpicked it. It was still much cheaper to have them embroidered again than to buy new.

duckling84 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:08:19

Definitely complain and request a transition period.
My dd is about to go into yr11 so last year of uniform but her secondary insist on a different skirt for yr11 so I've got to shell out £110 on a skirt that will only last 1 year! (£38 per skirt, 3 skirts needed). Utterly ridiculous.
Ds1 is due to start secondary soon and this time I will pick a school with a slightly more flexible approach (as in supermarket shirts and trousers acceptable)

duckling84 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:11:23

Oh kahula same here with the pe tops! Has to have her initials embroidered on. Really really discriminatory to those parents less well off.

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