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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?

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

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

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 stop them sending the kids home.

This is why people need to stop believing that 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 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


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.

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