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Something needs to be done about high school uniform

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BethBowman9090, May 29, 2020.

  1. BethBowman9090

    BethBowman9090 New commenter

    Hi even before the covid 19 crisis I thought high school uniform was far to expensive and something needs to be done about it.

    blazers can cost up to £40 which is way to expensive.

    what I’m proposing is high schools across all of the uk get rid of expensive blazer and tie uniforms and introduce cheap plain sweatshirt and polo shirt style uniforms what do people think about the uniform policy I’m pleading with a lot of high schools to adopt

    plain school sweatshirt (colour of schools choice)
    plain polo shirt (colour of schools choise)
    black school trousers
    proper school shoes or plain black cheap lace up pumps / plimsolls as cheap alternative option.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Your proposal used to be the norm around here, but more and more schools have been going to blazer and tie.

    To be fair, most of us bought two sweatshirts, whereas one blazer seems to suffice (and it washes and dries easily overnight if necessary), and fits well for longer.

    Some schools are great about making the trousers/shirts/shoes fairly generic.

    In my experience, it's the PE kits which are the huge expense. Sometimes they don't even seem to think about what is required - we're supposed to supply two pairs of trainers, but they're really not needed.
    phlogiston, IanG, gainly and 3 others like this.
  3. JJ83

    JJ83 New commenter

    Indoor and outdoor are recommended to prevent filthy indoor spaces for pupils to have decent lessons in, I am not sure I like the idea of adopting polo shirts as uniform but I do agree that uniforms in general are far too expensive
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Cannot imagine for a second you are really pleading with a lot of high schools.

    But since you ask, I think your uniform idea would look scruffy in no time at all and would need replacing far more often.

    Blazers are more expensive at the outset, but generally last far better than a sweatshirt. Certainly in my school the year 3s look sweet in their oversized blazers and by year 6 the same blazer looks a little too tight. Four years of almost daily wear...wouldn't get that from a £10 supermarket sweatshirt.
    sabrinakat, nomad, IanG and 1 other person like this.
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    By law, no school should be relying on a single supplier of school uniform. There needs to be at least two competing suppliers, and this should help keep the price down
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This, like so many other assertions by this poster, is not correct.

    There is a private members bill currently going through parliament which wants greater government guidance to be issued to schools and academies about keeping costs down, and for that guidance to become statutory, but it hasn't reached the final stages yet and there is currently no law which stops agreements between schools and single suppliers of uniforms.
    For the progress of the bill look here.
    And for a blog post from the NEU site about the bill look here.
    If you prefer the BBC site, then look here.
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You are wrong. That isn't the law.

    It is though, and has been for a long time, non-statutory DfE Guidance

    Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers. Any savings negotiated with suppliers should be passed on to parents wherever possible. Schools should not enter into cash back arrangements. Exclusive single supplier contracts should be avoided unless regular tendering competitions are run where more than one supplier can compete for the contract and where best value for parents is secured.


    The Bill referred to by CTB would change very little. I'm not quite sure why the Bill sponsor thinks it's worth the effort. It's sole effect is to make the non-statutory guidance on the link above into statutory guidance. It wouldn't make sole supplier arrangements illegal.

    @BethBowman9090 I will confidently predict that even if you could lobby evert school in England very few would agree with you, especially secondaries. We (LA secondary) used to have a quite simple uniform similar to what you suggest. When governors reviewed it a few years ago we consulted parents and pupils and by a significant majority they wanted blazers.
  8. BethBowman9090

    BethBowman9090 New commenter

    Doing some reasurch the price of this style uniform would be really cheap aswell.
    Asda plain sweatshirts 2 for £8
    Asda plain polo shirts 2 for £3.50
    Asda school trousers 2 for £7
    Primark plimsolls as school shoes £3

    you can get the plain uniform items really cheap in other supermarkets and cloths shops to even online can get plimsolls from shoe zone sports direct and online really cheap to.

    this would be much easier especially for families Who struggle financially and have 2 kids or more.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    o ok, i thought it was the law. If ts not the law, then it should be!
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I lived abroad for a while and my daughter was educated in the international school. She was allowed to wear her own clothes
    Having a uniform is so much easier than worrying about wearing the 'right' clothes to fit in etc. Plus, it's cheaper and more practical. I was so glad when we returned to the UK!
    Marisha, IanG, TheoGriff and 2 others like this.
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I've never been a great supporter of school uniform - a waste of time trying to enforce it etc.

    But is 2020 the time to bring this up? I'd assume there are other, more pressing, problems schools face at the moment.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Simply makes the guidance statutory which the sponsor believes will end the single supplier agreements.

    I imagine it has cross party support as it will be a shiny new education bill that changes nothing but looks good.
    friedgreentomatoes and TheoGriff like this.
  13. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I think you’ll find that in secondary schools, most stakeholders support uniform. Especially working class schools actually where kids and parents often feel that shabby uniform perpetuates a feeling of being second rate... as @Rott Weiler points out

    You often find round here that academy chains are happy to subside cost of blazers for this reason.

    I’m of the belief that you have a proper uniform or none at all.

    I’d rather no uniform as opposed to that suggested by the OP frankly- in secondary anyway
  14. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Our local high school had a hideous black blazer, black trousers, stripey tie combo. It is cheap, because you can buy any revolting black blazer and sew on the school badge. So full marks there. But it looks awful. In the summer they have polo shirts, a different colour for each house, and they look lovely. A brightly coloured polo shirt looks so much better than a polyester, badly fitting blazer. A similar sweatshirt or jumper would be much nicer for the winter. BUT my boys loved their hideous blazers because they could put all their pens and other junk in the pockets, which were generally dragging on the ground because they were so full. I can't see why there can't be a choice of blazer or jumper or sweatshirt or polo shirt or normal shirt, all generic to add a badge to if necessary. Children don't all have to look the same.

    Blazers for primary children is insane. They might look cute but it's neither practical nor comfortable.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I've noticed the same as @frustum. It was generally when the schools became academies that they tried to promote a new image by having a "smart" new uniform. As my sister remarked, "They had a smart new blazers but the kids were still as rough as before."
    Grandsire likes this.
  16. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    There is also the issue of 6th form uniform where most schools tell them to wear "business wear" which for boys is a suit and tie. That may well have been the norm 30 or 40 years ago but certainly not now.
    lilachardy likes this.
  17. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    When I was in sixth form, we had to dress "as for a reasonable employer". As girls were not permitted to wear trousers, unlike many of the female staff, we had to conclude that the school was not a reasonable employer.
    Doitforfree, strawbs, Marisha and 3 others like this.
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    That makes sense if they have one lesson outdoors and one inside, but our lot usually do the same thing in both lessons, so I'm not sure they've ever had outside and inside in the same week. They also tend to stay inside if it rains, so I don't think the trainers have ever actually got mucky.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yet the vast majority of private schools have them.
    Hence why some academies have started to have them too.
  20. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    My daughters go to a very lovely, small and inclusive faith school in a very affluent commuter town (we don't live there, they get the bus). Because it's inclusive, all the well-heeled parents of said commuter town steer clear of it. We buy blazers from the one uniform supplier in the town. Ours cost £28 and I have three shared between two daughters. The well-heeled schools' cost easily over £75 up to £100. There's no difference at all in quality. How does it work, does the school add a chunk on top of what the shop charges? Anyway, they are practical, a nice colour and easy to wash, so I'm not complaining. Girls don't mind as they have hundreds of pockets for keys, bus pass, fluffy sweet wrappers etc.
    Funnily enough, just as child no 2 was leaving her junior school they brought in blazers and ties to replace polos and sweatshirts. We didn't get to vote as had no other children there, but parents voted for them something like 9:1
    agathamorse likes this.

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