Petitions and activism
Overly strict uniform policies in secondary schools - does anyone want MNHQ to run a campaign about this?
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 17:01
So many secondary schools now seem to have super strict uniform policies. I feel this results in:
Low pupil morale
Parents having to spend a fortune on the latest uniform
Almost impossible to find a black school shoe that is appropriate and yet actually fit for purpose
Exclusions, isolations and detentions for flimsy reasons
And my personal favourites:-
Blazers have to be worn all summer even if children faint
Measuring school skirt length
Pupils not allowed non-school shoes even with a hospital note
I’ve asked MNHQ if they want to run a campaign and they suggested I post here, so here goes.
Personally I am in favour of uniform but would like a common sense approach, which many, many schools achieve with few problems.
Fully expecting posts from people in favour of the rules too.
redsummershoes · 24/11/2018 17:08
I'm up for it.
I'm all for a sensible dress code, but too strict uniforms, especially those only available in specialist shops with insane delivery times is not resonable.
it does nothing, absolutely nothing for learning and behaviour.
Mysparklingpersonality · 24/11/2018 17:20
Yes, I'd support this. I have had issues with DDs school regarding punishment for situations beyond her and my control with uniform.
I think the reasons given for strict uniform policies fall down when you look deeper.
I agree that uniforms are a good idea, however there needs to be common sense applied, and schools need to make sure that all uniforms are easily accessible and affordable - to the very low income families too, and that replacements cannot happen overnight.
I'd like to see punishment by isolation stopped for uniform infractions unless it's proved that the child has access to the right equipment and chooses to flout the rules. I'd also suggest that parents who refuse to (not can't) adhere to sensible policies be held accountable, not education be witheld from the child through isolation.
EggysMom · 24/11/2018 17:24
I agree with some of the rules (such as skirt length and black shoes) but I hate that schools and more often academies tie up a deal with just one supply shop who can set prices as high as they like. Uniform to fit the description should be purchasable from anywhere, with badges purchased separately and sewn onto jumpers/blazers if required.
MaisyPops · 24/11/2018 17:24
If happily support a campaign away from single supplier uniforms.
Could there be a side message where the message to parents is 'when you have a simple uniform just damn well follow it instead of acting like overgrown teenagers'.
I hate single supplier uniforms with a passion but have increasingly found myself sympathizing with schools who have parents buying leggings style trousers instead of straight legged etc / buying £80 black trainers when the school policy says black leather or faux leather school school shoes. No trainers.
Sarahjconnor · 24/11/2018 17:27
This reply has been deleted
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
redsummershoes · 24/11/2018 17:27
my dc's school uniform shop has resonable prices.
but they take 3 weeks to deliver.
that's just not good enough if one item goes missing gets stolen
NottonightJosepheen · 24/11/2018 17:30
This reply has been deleted
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Greensleeves · 24/11/2018 17:33
Absolutely I would be behind this campaign. I am particularly keen to challenge the use of isolation as a sanction for minor uniform infractions (without rudeness/defiance/poor attitude) which are often beyond the pupil's control and have zero impact on teaching and learning. This has the effect of excluding and further disadvantaging the children of poorer families.
Isolation in itself is alarmingly over-used in many schools, already disproportionately affects SEND students and those with challenging home lives, and its effects on pupils' educational outcomes and mental health needs MUCH more scrutiny.
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 17:34
Maisy, yes that would be a good focus, to move away from expensive single suppliers. It’s difficult though as my DC’s school has a single supplier for polo shirts and cardigans / jumpers. The prices are reasonable, quality is fantastic and the service is exceptional. To the point that although logo uniform is excellent, the majority of students wear it. This is primary though so perhaps different?
I do agree that there needs to be some sensible actions on the part of parents and students too, although we will have to agree to disagree on the trainers.
Reallybadidea · 24/11/2018 17:35
I would be. DC's school has this bizarre rule about not showing any ankle, very particular cuts of trouser and style of skirt which is annoying, time consuming and I do not believe has any impact at all on their education. OTOH some of the staff rock up looking like they're on a night out. I am very supportive of schools and teachers generally, but stupidly strict uniform policies actually make me think less of them.
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 17:35
Meant to write ‘although logo uniform is optional’, not ‘excellent’!
UnderMajorDomoMinor · 24/11/2018 17:43
In thinking about the petition you might want to look at the existing guidance: www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform
As there is already guidance from gov, this might be about campaigning to the media/local authorities/academy trusts/ofsted for this to be enforced rather than creating something new.
Example: The School Admissions Code 2012, which is statutory guidance, states “Admission authorities must ensure that [...] policies around school uniform or school trips do not discourage parents from applying for a place for their child.” No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a school of their choice, due to the cost of the uniform. School governing bodies should therefore give high priority to cost considerations. The governing body should be able to demonstrate how best value has been achieved and keep the cost of supplying the uniform under review.“
UnderMajorDomoMinor · 24/11/2018 17:44
So more powerful to get schools clamped down on or the guidance made mandatory or legal cases brought?
redsummershoes · 24/11/2018 17:46
wrt shoes, I firmly believe they should first and foremost fit well and be fit for purpose. colour/style shouldn't be too restrictive.
mary jane style shoes hinder them running and doing other physical activities, so imo have no place at school.
MaisyPops · 24/11/2018 17:50
The plan could easily be something like non single supplier alternative should be available.
The no ankle will be because 7/8 cropped trousers were in fashion and some parents can't help themselves but buy clearly non uniform items because 'technically it doesn't say you can't wear cropped trousers'.
First rule of uniform is remember some people are total idiots who will kit their child out in a whole range of fashionable items rather than follow the spirit of the uniform policy.
E.g. we said black school skirts, no jersey skirts at one school I worked in. Nice and simple and flexible.
Despite this we had a huge number of girls turn up in micro jersey skirts. Then when we raised it we had the usual cries of body shaming girls, why shouldn't they wear them, they're just skirts, why does it matter how short their skirt is, you're sexualising teenagers.
Common sense says a bum skimming clingy micro skirt is not following the rules. The school moved to single supplier for skirts. I couldn't blame them (much as I hate single supplier policies).
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 17:55
Just going back to that school admissions code, I take it that is a voluntary thing? Or that academies can ignore it? It seems to be academies which are big on the super strict uniform.
Yes Maisy, that would be a great way of putting it, that an alternative should be available.
Can we also do something about not being allowed to take blazers off in summer? Even having to ask I think is too much but it is the schools that don’t let them take it off and have fainting children that I am most concerned about.
As you can probably tell, I am no expert at any of this!
MaisyPops · 24/11/2018 17:58
I've known some schools have summer and winter uniform policies. That's worked quite well on the blazer front.
SnuggyBuggy · 24/11/2018 17:58
I'd be up for this. I think uniforms are a good idea but it shouldn't be too complicated or rigid
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 18:03
Maisy, do you want to take over the campaign ?
My thoughts exactly Snuggy.
MrsChollySawcutt · 24/11/2018 18:04
God no, discipline is appalling in a lot of schools and adherence to uniform code is a good way to encourage pupils and parents to support school policy and uphold the code of conduct they have signed up to.
Plenty of worthwhile education campaigns I can think of but not this!
MaisyPops · 24/11/2018 18:06
Gosh no toostressy.
(Plus at times I've been told i'm education's answer to satan on here for holding the radical view that schools have rules so parents who deliberately facilitate their child to be defiant are ridiculous).
But happy to chip in ideas if it helps.
redsummershoes · 24/11/2018 18:09
school uniform policy tells you nothing about discipline at school.
imo school that focus too much on uniform details waste time on that instead of other important issues like bullying or other pastoral care duties.
Mysparklingpersonality · 24/11/2018 18:10
With regards to the school admissions code, I have an issue with the way it's worded.
To say parents shouldn't be put off applying by policies or cost of uniform, implies that everyone has a choice of which school their children attend.
That's not always the case, I don't have a choice. The closest school is the one she attends, and it has developed a ridiculous uniform policy since a poor Ofsted report and new head.
The next available school is too far, and on 2 (service not school) buses, which I'd need to fund and I simply couldn't afford it. My DD would also be bottom of the list at application because she's not in the catchment area, and the school is often oversubscribed as children that should be there end up at DDs school.
So it's not a case that I'd be 'put off' by uniform policies or costly uniform, I have no choice but to send my daughter there, and if I can't follow the rules because I can't afford specialised clothing, she gets punished.
TooStressyForMyOwnGood · 24/11/2018 18:12
MrsCholly, that is the view on the other side of course. Do you still think this even if they signed up to one code of conduct then a new head / academy comes in and changes it? Or if there is no other realistic choice of school (home ed usually is not a realistic option)?
Well Maisy, I am pretty defiant and in fact deliberately found a job where if I wasn’t challenging and defiant I would be discliplined . I’m happy for my children to challenge rules. However, I am also happy to accept a certain amount of rule following.
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