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Forced academy status

(10 Posts)
Perriwinkle Wed 16-Jan-13 15:24:18

In your experience, where a school has been forced to become an academy (due to being placed in Special Measures) has the school uniform always changed at the behest of the academy sponsor?

All these new academy schools seem to be of the mindset that blazers = raising of standards/success. I, for one, am not at all convinced by this and will not welcome a costly uniform change just for appearances sake.

What are your experiences of having a say about this when the ability to choose whether or not to move to academy status has effectively been removed from schools that are deemed to be "failing"?

The only schools locally that I know of who have converted to academy status and retained their original uniforms are those which were judged by OFSTED to be "outstanding" and were therefore able to convert voluntarily.

Labro Wed 16-Jan-13 16:35:15

My friend was a teacher at such a school, she said they tend to push through this change of uniform so that the 'image' the school projects is different in the community (where blazers tend to = posh school) She found that they tend to phase in the uniform from the younger years upwards and often its a case of buying a badge to sew on a blazer from one of the high street retailers. One other school I know which was primary, changed its whole uniform but supplied the children with one jumper/cardigan free.

secretscwirrels Wed 16-Jan-13 16:41:19

Our school was one of those able to convert voluntarily. I don't know whether the governing body has changed in your school as a result of OFSTED but our governors were adamant that there be no uniform change, and subsequent expense to parents,on conversion. Perhaps you could approach the GB?
The problem is it's seen as a fresh start however cosmetic it may be.

Biscuitsneeded Wed 16-Jan-13 17:30:30

No, not necessarily. Only if whoever ends up in charge is of the school of thought that says smarter appearance = raising of standards. I don't buy it either.

Startail Wed 16-Jan-13 17:40:54

I think all our secondaries, regardless of OFSTED, are academies.

We certainly haven't changed uniform.

Perriwinkle Wed 16-Jan-13 18:09:53

Sadly, the only ones around here who are not in blazers are the ones who converted voluntarily, which seems to give them a far stronger hand in deciding thier own affairs.

As we're being forced, I'm not hopeful that we'll escape blazerisation.

In the early days of academies, when money was being thrown at them left right and centre, you often heard that the cost of new uniform was covered. Now the money has dried up, that seems to be a thing of the past - along with pupils getting free bikes, laptops and the like.

It's given me hope to hear that some schools are phasing a uniform change. However, if the motivation behind a uniform change is to wipe the slate clean and project a better image for the school in the community, I can't really see how this would be achieved by having only year 7s in blazers and the rest in the old uniform when it reopens as an academy in September.

Hopefully this can be thrashed out when we start having the consultation meetings - assuming of course they are actually going to have any...hmm

EvilTwins Wed 16-Jan-13 18:30:25

We became an academy last January - it was pretty much "forced" and we have a sponsor. We also have a new uniform with blazers. The whole lot was bought for every student - they got shirts, tie (clip on - ughgh. Worse than blazers) trousers/skirts and a blazer, as well as PE kit. Even the new Yr 7s who came in two terms after we changed had their uniform provided, so it's certainly not a thing of the past. I'm guessing the same won't happen this year as it's now an established thing and there will be enough second hand uniform to start to be able to offer it.

Some of the kids look really smart in the uniform, some don't. TBH, I think teenagers can manage to look scruffy in just about anything.

Perriwinkle Wed 16-Jan-13 18:41:06

You were lucky then EvilTwins. I certainly hope we have the same arrangement. I'm wondering if the policy on providing uniform free depends on the sponsor...? Which one have you got? Ours hasn't been announced yet as they're still in the process of deciding on one.

EvilTwins Wed 16-Jan-13 18:49:41

Ours is AET. As a teacher in the school, it's hard to see what has changed, in terms of the way things are run. To a parent, it probably looks quite different - new name, new uniform. The kids quite like the new uniform, but the bloody clip-on ties are the bane of our lives - so easy to nick some else's and wave it around. Grrrr.

gelo Wed 16-Jan-13 18:50:51

Same as EvilTwins. Our local school was academised over a year ago and everyone was given a blazer, tie (clip on) and PE kit, including some that joined a bit later. They actually all looked much smarter than before, and while I was initially sceptical about the ties, they do look better as they can't be worn loose or with unorthodox knots. The results have improved too, but I can't say I'm convinced the uniform had much input to that.

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