school uniform from one shop only, can the school enforce this really?

(58 Posts)
mummag Fri 10-Mar-17 19:27:49

My Child's school has been having a crackdown on uniform. They've now decided that skirts and trousers can only be bought from one place. The cost will be a lot more than Asda! Just feel its quite wrong actually and wondered if they can really do this. Interested in peoples thoughts.

amidawsh Fri 10-Mar-17 19:32:01

yes they can. it's not that unusual

meditrina Fri 10-Mar-17 19:33:41

Yes, it is wrong in the sense that it goes against all good practice about uniform availability and cost.

See this CAB campaign:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/current_campaigns/recent-campaigns/adding-up-campaign/

Schools can enforce uniforms. They should not however be using single supplier uniforms.

It's quite possible the school is getting a share of the profits, which might be why they have made this decision.

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Fri 10-Mar-17 19:34:48

I strongly recommend that you read the DofE guidance on uniform policy and affordability and include a copy with key points highlighted and underlined in your response to the school.

www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/uniform%20guidance%20-%20final2.doc

mummag Fri 10-Mar-17 19:49:36

Yes its the single supplier for treble the cost that I have an issue with. I will have a good look at that link.

TeenAndTween Fri 10-Mar-17 21:05:40

Are they fed up with short skirts and skinny trousers by any chance?
I can see why they've done it, but agree it's not really on.

SavoyCabbage Fri 10-Mar-17 21:07:51

I thought it was the norm.

Maybe you can do what you like if you are an academy.

(I only came on this thread to see if you were the plimsole troll)

mummag Fri 10-Mar-17 21:37:30

What's the plimsole troll. I miss all the excitement.

mummag Fri 10-Mar-17 21:39:13

What's wrong with short skirts and skinny fit anything though? What's the actual problem?

PuffinDodger Fri 10-Mar-17 21:50:31

Converse shoes you say! winkgrin

Cyclingforcake Fri 10-Mar-17 21:50:56

OP I'm with you. I think far far too much head space is given to uniform. As far as I'm aware short skirts and skinny fit trousers do not impede learning. And I don't buy into the argument about learning to obey rules either.

TeacupDrama Fri 10-Mar-17 22:03:37

I think they can get away with single supplier or could be very specific ie mid grey a-line skirt knee length or within 5cm
At our workplace those that wear uniform have the following stipulations, black trousers not denim or cord, no combats, tracksuits, skinnies or leggings no distressed or coloured details this applies equally to male and female employees
Whether their uniform policy is desirable is debatable it is almost certainly enforceable

MrGrumpy01 Fri 10-Mar-17 22:42:40

Lots of the schools around me have very descriptive uniform policy's (policies? policy's?) it is either logo'd or set uniform supplies.

Luckily the school we have picked for dd just states black trousers.

AlexanderHamilton Fri 10-Mar-17 22:44:53

I think almost every school around here specifies a particular design skirt & trousers, usually with the school logo on the waistband that is only available from one supplier.

shirleycartersaidso Fri 10-Mar-17 22:56:21

Short skirts and skinny trousers aren't suitable imo for uniform. It's not 'business dress' so why should it be ok for school.

prh47bridge Sat 11-Mar-17 01:04:11

The document linked to by ActuallyThats is out of date. The current guidance can be found here.

Can they enforce this? In disciplinary terms yes they can. The law is on their side.

Should they do this? Only if the single source gives best value for money. In general they don't. About 18 months ago the Competition and Markets Authority wrote to all schools urging them to abandon single supplier agreements or, where there is justification for retaining a single supplier, ensure that the supplier is subject to competitive tender on a regular basis. They also pointed out that single supplier agreements could put the supplier in breach of competition law, resulting in them being fined up to 10% of their turnover. The letter the CMA sent to schools can be found here.

If you are unhappy and think the single supplier is overpriced you should follow your school's complaints procedure. If that does not resolve the matter you could raise a complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority and/or complain to the Department for Education.

MopedManiac Sat 11-Mar-17 01:11:04

DCs school uses single supplier for uniforms I was well annoyed as in first instance I had to buy DD a new blazer at huge cost because couldn't get school logo on a badge to sew on like previous school (which still fit her perfectly well) and when she decided she wanted skirt instead of trousers said skirt was triple the cost of chain store as needed a 'logo' (which took the man all of 10 seconds to put on) which I will do myself next time!

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Sat 11-Mar-17 07:36:10

Oops thanks prh. It's a bit stronger now isn't it, and should be quite persuasive for any school which suddenly finds itself confronted with clued up parents quoting chapter and verse and talking about Competition and Market Act.

Bensyster Sat 11-Mar-17 08:12:03

Our school has a no skinny fit trousers rule which is weird as the cut of their trousers is very slim. Ds is skinny and wide legged baggy trousers are clown like on him. The boys can get their trousers from any shop - good because they don't have a pair to fit his narrow waist and long legs. The girl's trousers have to have the school logo and be bought from the school supplier - they look pretty grim.

MaisyPops Sat 11-Mar-17 08:16:29

As far as I'm aware short skirts and skinny fit trousers do not impede learning. And I don't buy into the argument about learning to obey rules either.
What's wrong with short skirts and skinny fit anything though? What's the actual problem?

On that logic, let's just be lax on uniform completelh. Boys can wear black trackies and black trainers. Let's say it's fine to turn up in masses of makeup, hoodies in school colours etc.
If clothes dont matter then I'll turn up to teach in my leggings and ugg boots (would prefer it to work dress!)

Comments like this always make me laugh and remind me of the angry people in local press "school said no trainers. I sent my child in £70 trainers. It's not fair they were told off".

In many lines of work you can't wear what you like. It's not about clothes affecting learning. It's about following an organisational code like many other places.
You pick a school, you know the rules. Support the school rules, queery individual thinhs (e.g. if you find approrpiate trousers at asda) and if not then choose another school.

WateryTart Sat 11-Mar-17 08:19:48

You pick a school, you know the rules.

If all schools have a uniform then parental choice is taken away. Schools should do away with uniform altogether and have dress codes, it works much better.

MaisyPops Sat 11-Mar-17 08:20:34

Just adding I think the single supplier of everything is ridiculous. That's worth raising.
My comment about don't like it find another school is more about poor me uniform complaining because thr kids can't wear short skirts and skinny trousers. (Interesting that when lads are creative with uniform they go for black trainers. It's usually not the main uniform, so that might be why girls uniform is more monitored.)

GavelRavel Sat 11-Mar-17 08:21:20

I get the short skirt thing, but then surely all they have to do is stipulate length from the knee, not which supplier - the same skirt will be longer or shorter on different size/shape girls anyway. Can't the girls where trousers these days anyway? But what is the problem with skinny or slim fit trousers? They look better on young boys, who tend to be very lanky, and most certainly are business dress these days. I often wince on the tube seeing the guys getting in/off in the City - they look like there going to do themselves an injury when they sit down! The fashion rightly or wrongly for men's suit trousers has been skinny fit for a long time. I can't see the same issues as overly short skirts, there's nothing revealing or overly sexualised about it is there?

I think it looks quite smart (when they're young and skinny, not when they're trying to squeeze into them when older of course!) The 30 something male teachers wear them too.

MadisonAvenue Sat 11-Mar-17 08:24:37

You pick a school, you know the rules. Support the school rules, queery individual thinhs (e.g. if you find approrpiate trousers at asda) and if not then choose another school.

Yes, but the OP states in her initial post that the school have changed the rules that she'd previously agreed to when choosing the school.

MaisyPops Sat 11-Mar-17 08:25:33

all schools have a uniform then parental choice is taken away. Schools should do away with uniform altogether and have dress codes, it works much better
That might be your view. And i get that.
I'd be open to not having uniform.

But if you send a child to a school then the rules stand. No point trying to turn school uniform into a fashion statement "yes you can turn up in leggings, a short shirt and black uggs because it doesnt affect learning" (true example).
It sends a message that if you dont like a standard or expectation then don't follow it. It also tells the children they dont really have to listen to staff if they dont like the instruction.
No wonder we get notes from home saying 'charlie hasnt done her homework because i didnt think it was appropriate/we went out for the day/they were tired' (all real examples)
Hardly good messages to send.

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