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Old 24-08-2013, 13:23
cultureman
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Schools are being urged to stop changing their uniforms amid concerns it is placing an intolerable strain on many parents.

A raft of schools are becoming academies with many introducing expensive uniforms that mirror those in the private sector.

The prices are so high that large that families with two or three children are having to go into debt or borrow from family and friends.

But with research suggesting that the average cost of a uniform for secondary school pupils is £285 and £156 for primary school children, council chiefs have intervened.

The Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is urging schools changing uniforms to alter just one or two items, or introduce replacement sew-on logos.

Some parents fear they are putting their children at risk of detention in an era when many head teachers will not tolerate any breach of uniform rules.


The situation is not helped by the fact that many schools have ignored pleas from successive governments to allow parents to buy generic cheap supermarket uniforms.


Instead, many incorporate special design elements on trousers, blazers and jumpers and insist families use school shops or specialist outfitters.

David Simmonds, of the LGA, said: ‘As scores of schools change their names or identities it is understandable that many will want to mark this, but head teachers need to bear in mind the potential financial cost to already hard-pressed families.

‘Parents already look to minimise costs by buying larger uniforms that their children can grow into, shopping in sales, spreading the cost by starting to buy items as early as spring, or even buying second hand items such as school blazers. But it’s more difficult for mums and dads to plan ahead when their child is set to attend a newly built or rebranded school.

‘Head teachers have a responsibility to minimise any additional costs that occur because they change their school’s name or status, for whatever reason. The last thing parents want to hear is that they will have to foot the bill for entirely different uniforms, sometimes just 12 months after they bought the last one.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2ct7Uweek
I wonder how the average household income of head teachers compares with the UK average household income as a whole?

Of course the real problem is central government which allows - indeed encourages them - to engage in such conceits of what is essentially personal vanity.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:28
Nigel Goodwin
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I wonder how the average household income of head teachers compares with the UK average household income as a whole?
Head teachers are extremely well paid.

However, it's a typical Daily Mail load of rubbish - heads can't singularly decide to introduce an expensive school uniform, it's probably more down to the governors than the head?. Certainly not down to one single person.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:35
cultureman
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Head teachers are extremely well paid.

However, it's a typical Daily Mail load of rubbish - heads can't singularly decide to introduce an expensive school uniform, it's probably more down to the governors than the head?. Certainly not down to one single person.
I think you're sort of missing the point as to whether it is down to just one individual or a self-regarding little power clique that makes the decision.

You really think there's no issue of any importance here?
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:36
Nigel Goodwin
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I think you're sort of missing the point as to whether it is down to just one individual or a self-regarding little power clique that makes the decision.
I think you're believing too much of the crap in the Daily Mail
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:37
cultureman
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I think you're believing too much of the crap in the Daily Mail
So if the DM hadn't published that article about the LGA, there would be no issue regarding uniforms?
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:57
Nigel Goodwin
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So if the DM hadn't published that article about the LGA, there would be no issue regarding uniforms?
You're assuming there is because the newspaper told you so.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:02
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It is ridiculous. In my school from 1st-3rd year we would have black blazers, grey jumpers with gold and red bands, and black, gold and red tie. From 4th-5th year, the jumpers changed to black with red and gold, and then they changed the skirts too. And then in the final two years of sixth year, it changed entirely to green jumper, green blazer and green tie with gold, black and red. Even the badge changed to VI with planets going around it.

Three uniforms for one school. That's a lot of money.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:08
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£285

I can't get my head around that, my uniform which included 4 shirts, 3 jumpers and 3 black trousers only cost a fraction of that.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:57
cultureman
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You're assuming there is because the newspaper told you so.
No. There was an item on BBC radio about it this morning.

Also googling reveals other national newspapers have had articles on the same subject matter over the last few weeks.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:03
Rhumbatugger
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Because the new Academies are now run like businesses, and the heads think they are CEOs.

They're into branding.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:17
tothegrand
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Because the new Academies are now run like businesses, and the heads think they are CEOs.

They're into branding.
I don't think thats true, they certainly have more power and money.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:22
Rhumbatugger
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I don't think thats true, they certainly have more power and money.
They are, truly - they aren't LEA schools, they have different rules, much more freedom and power and money, and the idea that schools are now some form of 'business' is has been develping a long time - corporate values.

Branding is part of that, and the most obvious is to have an 'upmarket' school image, and that includes the uniform.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:30
claire2281
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I can totally understand wanting to rebrand the school if they become an academy and change name, particularly if there's been issues at the school in the past. They want a clear 'this is a fresh start message'. I also completely support the idea that pupils should be disciplined if they refuse to wear the appropriate uniform and frankly if they don't like the rules then they are free to go elsewhere.

I'm bemused though as to why some heads/governors make lives so difficult for themselves by insisting on fairly ridiculous and specific things. The school I work at is nearly 400 years old (it's state, not private!) and so it's hardly some new place but the only branded items we have are a blazer and tie. Everything else is generic - white shirt, grey trousers etc. I don't see why students need any more than that.

I do wonder tbh if some are using this as a way of trying to support fragile school budgets after so many cuts.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:45
alan29
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I think you're sort of missing the point as to whether it is down to just one individual or a self-regarding little power clique that makes the decision.

You really think there's no issue of any importance here?
There are elected parent governors on all governing bodies. They are there to report back to parents when this kind of thing is in the air.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:47
cultureman
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I can totally understand wanting to rebrand the school if they become an academy and change name, particularly if there's been issues at the school in the past. They want a clear 'this is a fresh start message'. I also completely support the idea that pupils should be disciplined if they refuse to wear the appropriate uniform and frankly if they don't like the rules then they are free to go elsewhere.

I'm bemused though as to why some heads/governors make lives so difficult for themselves by insisting on fairly ridiculous and specific things. The school I work at is nearly 400 years old (it's state, not private!) and so it's hardly some new place but the only branded items we have are a blazer and tie. Everything else is generic - white shirt, grey trousers etc. I don't see why students need any more than that.

I do wonder tbh if some are using this as a way of trying to support fragile school budgets after so many cuts.
Yes if it's a private school, no if it receives taxpayer funding; education being compulsory up to the age of 16.


I taught abroad in a country without the British school uniform fetish, and behaviour was at least equal to, (and in reality considerably better than), UK schools.
There is no need for any 'uniform' greater than say an equivalent of an identifying school leavers hooded sweatshirt.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:47
alan29
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Because the new Academies are now run like businesses, and the heads think they are CEOs.

They're into branding.
Which leads to the local sink school re branding itself as "University Academy." Its so OTT that I actually grin every time I drive past.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:48
Muggsy
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They are, truly - they aren't LEA schools, they have different rules, much more freedom and power and money, and the idea that schools are now some form of 'business' is has been develping a long time - corporate values.

Branding is part of that, and the most obvious is to have an 'upmarket' school image, and that includes the uniform.
That's always been the case though, hasn't it? It was certainly true back in the days of 11-plus and grammar schools when schools were very specific about what the uniform consisted of, including the precise style and colour of lab coat and aprons and caps for DS.

My mother started saving for my school uniform when I was born and it was very clear that any money I was given was for my uniform. Any "Here's sixpence. Buy yourself an ice cream" meant I had to hang onto the money and hand it over to Mom to go into the account with the Birmingham Municipal Bank. Neither of my parents had been able to take up the places at grammar school they'd secured because their families couldn't afford the cost, and they didn't mean for their daughter to end up in unskilled factory work like them if they could avoid it.

The cost of my uniform just about wiped out every penny that had been saved in the previous 11 years so everything was bought for "growing into" to last as long as possible. In fact still today the gabardine raincoat would probably be too big for me. A change to the style of the summer dress during my time there was a major family financial crisis.

I can't see why something that's been affecting families for generations is suddenly "news".
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:20
claire2281
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Yes if it's a private school, no if it receives taxpayer funding; education being compulsory up to the age of 16.
Yes but for the most part they don't have to go to THAT school. We are a medium sized town and we have 5 secondary schools. Therefore if someone had a particular issue with our rules for some reason then they are quite free to go to one of the other 4. Also education is compulsory, not going to school - if a parent had that much of an issue they can teach their child at home.

I taught abroad in a country without the British school uniform fetish, and behaviour was at least equal to, (and in reality considerably better than), UK schools.
There is no need for any 'uniform' greater than say an equivalent of an identifying school leavers hooded sweatshirt.
For the most part students are happy to have uniform - no faffing about wondering what to wear each day, no one upmanship about a good part of your clothing.

As I said, we have a branded tie and blazer, that's it. Everything else can be supermarket bought. Some schools are stupid with their uniform but certainly not all. It tends to be schools that have been in a poor way trying to rebrand themselves who go to ridiculous lengths.

Also, as I said, I do think some heads see it as a way to make a bit of extra money when schools are in financial hardship. 18% operational funding cut for next year, we've had to reduce the number of subjects we teach and taken away facilities we've long been lucky to have like a swimming pool and a food tech room. Sad for the pupils to lose subjects and facilities but we don't have the money to run these things any more.
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:40
cultureman
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Yes but for the most part they don't have to go to THAT school. We are a medium sized town and we have 5 secondary schools. Therefore if someone had a particular issue with our rules for some reason then they are quite free to go to one of the other 4. Also education is compulsory, not going to school - if a parent had that much of an issue they can teach their child at home.



For the most part students are happy to have uniform - no faffing about wondering what to wear each day, no one upmanship about a good part of your clothing.

As I said, we have a branded tie and blazer, that's it. Everything else can be supermarket bought. Some schools are stupid with their uniform but certainly not all. It tends to be schools that have been in a poor way trying to rebrand themselves who go to ridiculous lengths.
Would be interesting as an experiment to make school uniform optional for a year or so - with the pupil rather than parent making the decision.

Those pupils who prefer wearing their school uniform being free to do so, whilst those who would rather dress in 'mufti' would be similarly free to dress as they do at weekends and during the holidays.

I notice few pupils are so fond of their school uniform that they wear it when they don't have to!
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:48
Domestos
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You can't enforce a uniform.
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:56
Nigel Goodwin
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You can't enforce a uniform.
Interesting theory - considering many children are excluded for not complying with it.
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Old 24-08-2013, 17:02
Domestos
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Interesting theory - considering many children are excluded for not complying with it.
If parents can't afford it, there's no law saying they have to comply to get the education they are entitled to.
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Old 24-08-2013, 17:03
claire2281
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You can't enforce a uniform.
I would beg to differ. A child doesn't have to go to a particular school and uniform rules are made clear from the start. If the parents don't like the rules they should send their child elsewhere and save hassle for everyone.

Of course SOME schools need to sort out their stupid uniform ideas. Never heard anything as ridiculous as the idea of 'branded' trousers.

If parents are in that much hardship most schools have a fund to help out but these cases are generally few. We had one recently where student was in hardship due to a house fire. He was given a leniency period and help getting new items.

Would be interesting as an experiment to make school uniform optional for a year or so - with the pupil rather than parent making the decision.
General thinking is that they'd like it for a while and then find the resultant having to wear the 'in' thing all the time and hassle of choosing clothes more trouble than it's worth.

Also in many cases uniform probably works out cheaper than all the extra clothes kids will get through (i.e. when they ruin them through the wear and tear/playing football and rolling around on the floor in them!)
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Old 24-08-2013, 17:07
Domestos
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I would beg to differ. A child doesn't have to go to a particular school and uniform rules are made clear from the start. If the parents don't like the rules they should send their child elsewhere and save hassle for everyone.
Well, I can only speak from where I work. I was having a discussion about uniform with our head, and she said 'actually, we can't legally enforce it, if a parent is set against it, there's nothing we can do'

So of course, you can do detentions, sending the kids home etc, to try to persuade the parents to come into line. But if they don't, and they are in the school that they are catchment for = nothing can force them.

However, 99.9999% of parents fall into line. Those who struggle to pay, we will 'find' uniform for them.
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Old 24-08-2013, 17:21
Nigel Goodwin
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If parents can't afford it, there's no law saying they have to comply to get the education they are entitled to.
You don't get much education if you're excluded more than you're there.

And as you say further down, for genuine cases of hardship the school usually sort something out.
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