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Blazers - someone reassure me

(35 Posts)
pointythings Sat 01-Oct-11 20:34:30

So the school DD is going to next year has developed a severe case of Gove's Disease and is introducing a new uniform, including a blazer, which must be worn in all lessons unless it is really hot (am going to teach DD the fine art of fainting just in case).

The school tells me the new uniform will be practical and affordable.

Could someone tell me whether there is such a thing as

- A school blazer from a school sole supplier that costs roughly the same as a sweatshirt
- A school blazer which does not need dry cleaning

And someone please tell me that my DD is not going to lose her mandatory clip-on tie every week and that it's all going to work out just as sensible as the previous affordable and practical uniform?

One thing I do like - pupils will be expected to wear a plain white shirt (no logos) so I can buy DD nice cotton ones.

I will not, however, be ironing them.

BikeRunSki Sat 01-Oct-11 20:39:44

We had blazers at school (comp, 1980s), which you could get from 2 suppliers. The John Lewis one was wool, expensive and had the badge embroidered directly onto it. The one from the school uniform shop was much cheaper, but poly-mix and machine washable.

pointythings Sat 01-Oct-11 20:43:41

I suspect the school will not be giving us any choices as the blazers are covered with a lot of Christmas tree-like trim in House colours as well as the school logo, so they will either be

-Machine washable but horribly cheap and cheap looking
-Expensive and dry-clean only, piling cost on cost.

Why do schools do this? <tears hair out>.

hellhasnofury Sat 01-Oct-11 20:44:27

The DCs had school blazers. We could either buy from the (expensive) school stockists or buy from BHS/M&S etc for a much more affordable price then buy the school badge and sew (or wonderweb for the terminal non-sewers like me) it in place.

Much cheaper than a sweatshirt for us because the blazer lasted longer and was machine washable.

eaglewings Sat 01-Oct-11 20:44:27

Local school has blazers which cost £30 each

They are machine washable and don't need ironing

The shirts are white cotton and also non iron

Think it is fairly normal to have to wear blazers all the time unless shirt sleeve day is announced

hairypotter Sat 01-Oct-11 20:47:17

Blazers here are £48 for a wool one or £28 for polyester version we can chuck in wash every week. Dd1 usually manages a whole school year out of it so good value.

Only problem is, it isn't cool to wear waterproof jacket over it in really wet weather so she gets soaked!

dixiechick1975 Sat 01-Oct-11 22:47:10

DD's from sole supplier and dry clean only £74.99

I think the only way they can be reasonably priced if you just need a plain black blazer and can get from M & S etc.

cazboldy Sat 01-Oct-11 22:52:13

our school did this last year.

we have to get them from one shop, they cost around £30 and are machine washable.

My son's got ripped along the seam while playing football 3 weeks into the first term!

My daughter has just started Y7 and hangs hers up every night, and I have only washed hers once!

Have told ds1 that if this one does not last longer..... (his 3rd in 12 months - 1st one ripped, 2nd one outgrown) then he will be buying the next one!

They do look smart though!

They also get pinched very very often!

seimum Sat 01-Oct-11 22:59:13

Both DCs schools had Trutex blazers which were about £25-30, I think, machine washable & seemed to last (apart from broken buttons).

Clary Sun 02-Oct-11 00:30:10

DS1 (12) wears a blazer to school.

It is washable (thank goodness - he is very messy!) and cost about £23 from a local uniform supplier. Or you can buy the badge for about £4 and sew it on to an Asda blazer for about £16, if you can be bothered. I thought the Asda blazer not such nice quality tho.

So that's more than a sweatshirt, but not out of this world anyway. Plus it still fits him in yr 8 so that's not too bad. I think a blazer and tie is a Good Thing at secondary actually (and no I do not like frog face)

PonceyMcPonce Sun 02-Oct-11 00:34:03

Ours is from school supplier at £23. Washable and looks lovely tbh. Cheap enough to buy one that actually fits. Nice internal zip pocket for phone too.

Don't know whether will look as smart for whole year, but they will move into summer uniform after Easter.

madhattershouse Sun 02-Oct-11 00:37:18

Ours is from single provider outlet..£38. They have to wear it all year apart from june/july. It is, however, handwashable. The blazer used to be black..now they have to have Maroon!?!

CointreauVersial Sun 02-Oct-11 00:43:10

DS1's blazer has to be bought from the school; it's £30 but reasonable quality and machine-washable. DS has been told if he loses it he's toast.

They don't have to wear them in lessons, just into and out of school, but the other secondary in the town makes them wear blazers in lessons. I can't imagine anything more uncomfortable.

startail Sun 02-Oct-11 00:44:11

Girl from local school that did the opposite was very miffed. She said she really missed her blazer pockets. DD puts locker keys and lunch card in her blouse pocket and looses things when in her summer polo shirt.
I was a research student and can relate to this, you can put all manner of stuff in a lab coat.

MindtheGappp Sun 02-Oct-11 06:22:46

Mine all wear blazers to and in school. They have never had the problems the OP has mentioned.

At my DD's school, the blazer is washable, but at the other two schools my DCs attend, they are dry-clean only. I get them dry-cleaned in the February half term, and then again before the start of the school year.

IloveJudgeJudy Sun 02-Oct-11 13:14:59

Blazers at our DC's school. Absolutely fine. DS1 had his washed every week as he is very tidy and clean. Other two usually have theirs washed every other week. Blazers lasted very well, at least two years. DD has not taken such good care of hers, but still has to wear it as I won't pay for another as she doesn't take good care of things.

Erebus Sun 02-Oct-11 19:16:59

Ah! The Blazer. <misty eyed old gimmer emoticon>

Love 'em. Practical Central.

Indulge me whilst I go off on tangents regarding The Blazer.

My girls' GS (OK, 1973!!) had a blazer, obtainable from only one supplier. It cost £34. It was wool based and lined and had many pockets. It was also bottle green! (with sewn in badge). It was fab. OK, cards-on-table here: It denoted our pride in being at this particular school. It was smart (though they'd done away with white shirt'n'tie and BOATER a couple of years before) so we had, albeit nylon green gingham open necked blouses. BUT there was a place for your pens, a place for your bus pass, a place for your dinner money, a place for your locker key, a place (in the upper years) for your change purse. And lippy and Tampax. These things were always about our persons.

DS's school did away with shirt/tie/blazer 10 odd years ago. It's all polos and sweatshirts and the kids look a mess! AND DS has to carry his backpack around with him all day as all his stuff is in it. This is at the top academically performing comp in the county ('an informal yet rigorous approach to learning...'). Something in my soul aches as I drive to my local shops in the next secondary's catchment and I see the DCs in their school uniform- snappy, smart, focussed. (The school badge was bequeathed by Lord Mountbatten of Burma to the school- he also gave the land to build the state comp). Smaaart!

There's nothing wrong with a blazer!!

Unless it costs £97 in Y3 which is the case with my friend's DSs who attended a poncey Prep in a famous East Anglian university town, replete with purple'n'black stripes- though, interestingly, the high school has a plain black blazer because they've figured that, at 11, DCs just will no longer agree to be walking bill-boards for their parents wealth. But that's another story.

Finally- someone washes the blazer every week? Im-peressed! My DSs black school trews get washed either a) when visually needed, or b), once every half term, following a weekly sniff test (they are both pre-pubescent).

MrsRobertDuvall Sun 02-Oct-11 20:04:29

Ds's blazer cost £35 from the school shop.....it is machine washable and lasted him all last year.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Oct-11 20:48:38

Ours are Skoolkit
£35
through the washing machine (remember to empty ALL the pockets) on a Friday afternoon, on a hanger on the line. Dry in three hours
Filthy again by end of Monday
DD's lasted year 7 and year 8 and will make it through most of Year 9.

MUCH better than the stinkt Wool one I had to wear!

pointythings Sun 02-Oct-11 20:50:02

Problem is, they have to have a blazer and a sweatshirt, with logos on. Are they trying to boil the children? Am I suspicious in thinking that this layering policy is an excuse not to turn the school central heating on until it's -19?

I do get the pockets thing, that makes sense, but in a school which has a lot of parents on very low incomes I just don't think introducing a new school uniform when the old one is affordable and hard-wearing is OK.

I also don't think a blazer which is dry-clean only is acceptable, for some parents the cost of this would be a real hardship.

Last of all, given the problems the school has had, I think it should be focusing on improving teaching and dealing with its leaky buildings, not on vanity projects like this. I know that ous Secretary of State for Education thinks taht introducing blazers and ties in state schools will magically enable pupils to pass the English Baccalaureate just like that, but personally I think that good teaching and collaboration with parents is more important. From what I can glean, the majority of the new intake parents don't like this - and have not been consulted.

The school is the only secondary serving a wide area, so they can do what they damn well please. However, from my POV they are already on notice before DD has even started, and I will move her if they put a foot wrong.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Oct-11 20:53:39

Blazers and ties work.
Its not just Gove
clothes that are NOT like their weekend ones (sweatshirts and hoodies etc)
have a definite beneficial effect on self discipline
may not help results
Thornden does not do Blazers, but they also manage to be a comp with 0% FSM
But Blazers and ties do help discipline.

Loshad Sun 02-Oct-11 21:04:34

so agree with talkin peace - blazers work, so much so that if i ever had to change jobs that would be my first requirement - a blazer for the kids!!
Sink school that i left 18 months ago has just reintroduced blazer in a last ditch attempt to stem the emigrees and regain order in the classroom.
At our school, (and also at the school,my kids attend) they are washable, relatively inexpensive and look really smart.
If it's really hot in class then the kids can remove their blazers during the lesson and put them back on to change class - i'm not a total cow.
Pointy - if you want your dc to be able to learn without constant disruption then the school are looking like they are moving in the right direction.

pointythings Sun 02-Oct-11 21:11:41

I have searched and searched and searched but I have not found any research that suggests uniforms improve behaviour and achievement, TalkinPeace2.

Why do so many European countries where there is no school uniform do so much better in terms of educational outcomes than schools in the UK?

Where there has been a change of uniform (to blazers, or not), there has usually also been a change of leadership in the school. This is certainly the case with DDs school - special measures 5 years ago, now heading towards good, new head, completely new management team, governors etc. I'm inclined to think that this is the deciding factor, not the clothes.

It will only go so far - the school has no choice but to take the kids from the more deprived areas of its catchment, and at some point those A*-C GCSE pass rates are going to stop rising.

Self-discpline also does not come from clothes, it comes from good parenting. This includes the ability to say no, impose sanctions, insist on homework and revision being done.

The children who come to school currently in incorrect uniform (and my well be sent home because of it) will not suddenly adhere to the new uniform just because it's posh - they will still come from the same difficult backgrounds that they did before. I would much rather the school focused its attention on the children who need help the most - a change of uniform sounds to me like an admission that they have nothing else left in the locker improvements-wise.

pointythings Sun 02-Oct-11 21:12:57

Loshad - My DD learns just fine in her middle school, thanks, and not a blazer in sight.

talkingnonsense Sun 02-Oct-11 21:30:27

Our blazer is £38 and goes in the wash about every half term! They wear it in class unless a shirtsleeves day. It's definitely practical for bus pass etc.

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