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Exclusive uniform for local comprehensive?

(8 Posts)
harbingerofdoom Mon 05-Sep-11 22:10:59

I thought that a hat for £18.99 and skirts from £33.00 etc were illegal?

prh47bridge Tue 06-Sep-11 09:29:54

It is not directly illegal but it may be a breach of the Admissions Code. Local authorities are required to work with governing bodies to ensure that fair admission arrangements are not undermined by a requirement for expensive school uniform. Governing bodies should help limit the cost of uniforms through such measure as buying in bulk and ensuring the uniform is widely available in high street shops, etc. rather than from an expensive sole supplier, even if the school is the sole supplier. The word "should" in the last sentence means it is not compulsory but the onus would be on the school to justify its failure to comply.

crazymum53 Tue 06-Sep-11 10:01:21

I was wondering about this too - my dds new school has completely changed the uniform for all pupils and PE kit as well for Y7. We were not informed when we applied that this would be happening or if we were the costs were not mentioned. The school is insisting that certain items are bought exclusively from one independent supplier and costs are much higher than we would expect. How can they justify jumpers starting at £14 for a sleeveless one and £18.99 when similar items in M&S cost half that amount. PE shirts cost £16.99 and we are expected to buy 2 one with long sleeves the other with short sleeves. I cannot understand why 2 items are needed.
We are on a low income (but don't qualify for any additional help) and are struggling to afford this so haven't bought all the uniform yet. We are delaying purchase of some items until we can afford it. any tips about what to do would be helpful.

prh47bridge Tue 06-Sep-11 10:59:07

Complain to the governors and the LA, pointing out their duties under the Admissions Code. The school may be receiving some money from the supplier for every uniform sold but there was an investigation by the OFT a while ago which showed that the money received by the school was only a fraction of the additional cost.

crazymum53 Wed 07-Sep-11 08:30:15

Thanks for the advice. I will write to the school governors as it looks as if they are the people responsible for making this decision. School is a comprehensive but is not a community school so am unsure if the LEA would have any say in the matter.

prh47bridge Wed 07-Sep-11 19:22:30

If you mean it is an academy, the LA can't tell them what to do but the Admission Code still requires them to work with the governing body on this matter.

crazymum53 Wed 14-Sep-11 16:55:49

Have just talked to a senior member of staff at the school and it turns out that the reason for the high prices are that the jumpers and sports gear are ethically sourced so that the workers who produce them get paid a decent salary and don't work under sweatshop conditions.
Shame they didn't communicate this with the parents ! But this is more understandable.
Apologies for hijacking the thread OP. Perhaps this is why your uniform is expensive too ?

Gillg57 Thu 15-Sep-11 23:27:30

It will still be considerably cheaper than not having an uniform.

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