Saturday, 11 May 2013

Disturbing news

I posted back here about the local secondary schools moving to online suppliers of school uniform. 

I have had a response from an Assistant Principal at the school, which was not very encouraging.  He did take on board the comments I made about access for people without the internet or without the means to pay on the internet, and said he would raise those issues.

I was told that the uniform is "much better quality" than that available in the supermarkets.  Honestly, though, for those of us trying to keep to a budget, we are not that bothered about buying high quality items of clothing that we know our children will have grown out of within six months to a year.  We expect to have to buy new clothes for school most years, so unless they are going to start operating a nearly-new shop, I will have little interest in such high quality goods.

I was also informed that the children all have to wear logo'd polo shirts in the summer because "around 5%" of current pupils are coming to school wearing polo shirts with fashion logos on them like Nike and SuperDry.  Righto then, so because the school cannot deal with 5% of the children, the other 95% of the parents have to pay £7.50+ for polo shirts, instead of being able to send our children to school in the "2 for £5" plain white ones.  Seems entirely sensible! [Hope you are feeling the heavy sarcasm here!]

And today's disturbing news?

The shop on the high street that was our main supplier, albeit unofficially, but recognised by the schools because they used to invite them to display their goods at new intake evenings, is to close at the end of term, such has been the impact on their business.  I will be in there this week to buy a couple more jumpers for the YFG, and another tie, and perhaps some shorts for PE.  Thank goodness that this new uniform is only optional for the YFG as she will be in Y10 when they go back in September.

It is a sad reflection of our times, I think, and a trend which is only set to continue.


Angela said...

How utterly frustrating for you. Is there a parents association - and what action have they taken?

And can you appeal to the governors?

Final suggestion - cut the logos from outgrown white polo shirts and then fix them onto new cheapo ones [using bondaweb and machine zigzag stitch] I have often done this for a number of friends whose schools have expensive uniform.

This is an incredibly sad reflection of our times. And also frustrating that the 5% of WEALTHY kids who can afford designer logos are causing such an impact on POORER families. Oooh! I think I would be tempted to write to the local paper about such discrimination [having first warned the school I was going to...]

dont give up yet, my friend!!

Morgan said...

There aren't any outgrown polo shirts with the logo on them as they are craftily changing the blooming logo, I understand!

Other suggestions excellent and I will mull them over. Have to be a little careful being the chair of governors of a feeder school that I am not seen to be sticking my neck out too far and involving my own school - doing this firmly with my parent hat on, but have had the thought that I am not terribly impressed with the governors...but they are an academy now so perhaps they have to do what they are told!

Frantic's Antics said...

Are you talking about Dobsons in March closing down? This is ridiculous! My son is in y9 and they can sod off if they think I am parting with the best part of £40 for a week's polo shirts. My son has trashed two shirts in a week dousing it with ink form his blazer pocket. School- kids (and their mothers) don't need quality. My sons used to remove the knee from their brand new trousers with consistent regularity, even the year I bought them from John Lewis!

Morgan said...

Yes, that's right - it is on the Cambs Times website. The polo shirts are not on the new supplier's website list yet, but the ones that the school sold with the logo on were £7.50 so I can't imagine that they are going to be a lot cheaper. They are offering a twin pack of proper shirts for £11.95 or £12.95 with long sleeves. They can't police shirts, though, so we still have some flexibility about where those come from - it is the logo'd stuff that is going to cost - and the PE stuff is not cheap.
Please complain directly to the school - I am encouraging everyone who mutters at me to do so as I feel like no-one else has actually said anything about all this and they think I am just a pain in the you-know-where raising a few issues.

Wannabe Sybil said...

I am so sorry that you are going through that. I hope it all works out. Even as an internet addict I think this is appalling. WS xxx

Frantic's Antics said...

Hi,I have sent off a blinding e mail. I teach at a private school and the uniform there aint cheap, but it is cheaper than this! I have asked to the school to clarify what help is available to poorer families and those without internet access, although to be fair £40 for a week's supply of polo shirts is a bit of a gulp moment for me too. My son has destroyed two shirts this week by getting ink all over them, which is a pain in the butt, but if they had cost £15 I might have been a bit crosser!

Morgan said...

Go, Frantic! Thanks for doing that - I hope you get a response.

Frugal in Bucks said...

That's a disgrace. Instead of fannying around with logos they should be concerning themselves with pupils and their parents who can't do as asked.
Not impressed.

Best of luck with it all.

Lesley said...

Hi Morgan,

I've had a look at the DfE website again, and I am sure it applies to all schools, including academies. I think you need to take it to the governors - they have a statutory duty to be inclusive, and they are obviously not doing so. Go for it!


Morgan said...

Thanks, Lesley. I think I will be brave and have a go at the governors, if I can get at them without making an official complaint...I know who the Clerk to the Governors is, so that might be a good place to start.

Thank you all for your support.