Appeal over high cost of school uniforms

PARENTS have called on Oxfordshire schools to keep uniform prices down as they struggle to equip their children for the new school year.

They have been backed by Abingdon and District Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Local Government Association.

It comes as two Oxfordshire schools – Cheney in Oxford and Larkmead in Abingdon – prepare to launch a new uniform.

Year 7 to 10 pupils at Cheney School will need a new jacket – priced at £25.95 to £34.74 – and optional cardigan or jumper, which costs from £16.95 to £23.94.

But the school will give the jacket free to pupils who receive free school meals, and other families can apply to the school’s access fund.

Headteacher Jolie Kirby said: “We are aware of costs and when we were changing the uniform it was one of the criteria we looked at very carefully.”

Pupils can buy the remainder of the uniform from any supplier, while the jacket and blazer must be bought from Runcorn-based Sportswear International online or by telephone.

Mrs Kirby said the embroidered jackets were chosen for durability and had only a £6-£7 difference to plain blazers, while the old burgundy sweatshirts, which she said were about £8 cheaper than the jacket, can continue to be worn for PE.

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Parents were mixed in their responses.

Judy Raven, who has two children at the school, said: “The blazers are very expensive and there have been some problems with fitting.

“But in terms of bringing in a school uniform I think they have made concessions and helped parents on lower incomes.”

Only Year 7 pupils at Larkmead School will have to wear its new uniform this year, with all other pupils except Year 11 expected to change by September 2013.

Children were given a brief to help design and source a uniform – with a total cost of under £80.

Larkmead head Chris Harris said: “We have done everything we can to try to spread that cost.”

CAB manager Anne Groom said: “We want schools to make uniforms available from a wide selection of suppliers, or offer iron-on and sew-on badges as options.”

The Local Government Association has also called for schools to keep costs down.

 

SOME EXAMPLE UNIFORMS...

Cheney School students need a grey embroidered jacket (which must be bought from a specified supplier at a cost of up to £34.74 including VAT) and can also buy a jumper or cardigan from the same supplier, priced at up to £23.94.
They need long black trousers or black skirts or a shalwar khamiz, a plain white polo shirt with a collar and black shoes, which can be bought from any supplier.
Larkmead School’s uniform consists of a black and gold tie, priced at £9, and a grey or black cardigan or v-neck sweatshirt, which cost £16.50.
To add to this they need a white shirt, black trousers, black shoes, a waterproof outdoor coat, an apron for art and design and technology.

Comments (6)

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12:26pm Sat 1 Sep 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

I wonder how many of those complaining, think nothing of spending £70 on kids trainers etc.
I wonder how many of those complaining, think nothing of spending £70 on kids trainers etc. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -1

2:34pm Sat 1 Sep 12

davyboy says...

we have just paid out for my sons new uniform for John Mason school, which had to be bought at the trutex shop in didcot. the total cost there was £80, including nearly £21 for a 'reversible' rugby top, in orange/green. why cant schools use plain shirts in sensible colours, rather than ones the kids will never use again! it would be cheaper to buy 2 tops in plain colours, such as blue, black etc. also, why does everything need a school logo on it? they have a tie in school colours, why does the jumper, amd summer polo shirt need a logo too? luckily, we can get shirts and trousers at high st shops, but the he has to have a plain blue or black coat, thus stopping him using ones he already has. schools need to realise that parents really can't spend fortunes on uniform anymore. as for larkmead saying the will give children on free school dinners free blazers!!! well, what about all the others? that is discrimination!
we have just paid out for my sons new uniform for John Mason school, which had to be bought at the trutex shop in didcot. the total cost there was £80, including nearly £21 for a 'reversible' rugby top, in orange/green. why cant schools use plain shirts in sensible colours, rather than ones the kids will never use again! it would be cheaper to buy 2 tops in plain colours, such as blue, black etc. also, why does everything need a school logo on it? they have a tie in school colours, why does the jumper, amd summer polo shirt need a logo too? luckily, we can get shirts and trousers at high st shops, but the he has to have a plain blue or black coat, thus stopping him using ones he already has. schools need to realise that parents really can't spend fortunes on uniform anymore. as for larkmead saying the will give children on free school dinners free blazers!!! well, what about all the others? that is discrimination! davyboy
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Sat 1 Sep 12

Severian says...

The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere.

I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper.
The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere. I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper. Severian
  • Score: 0

11:08pm Sat 1 Sep 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Severian wrote:
The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere.

I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper.
Perhaps because not all parents are poor...

Parents of moderate wealth would never consider sending their child to school in economy uniforms.

It just takes a handful of kids to wear superior clothes for a clear class divide to start. That postage stamp sized "Polo", "Jaeger", "Pringle", "CK", "Lyle & Scott" on the chest identifying who has succesful educated parents, and who doesn't.

You just need to look at the pages of this newspaper to recognise the hatred expressed by sections of the community towards enlargement or opening of new Tesco stores - children pick up on this very quickly and learn to disapprove of the relevant peers.

A formal uniform from a narrow range of outlets is a great leveller, albeit a stretch for some and a lowering of expectations for others.
[quote][p][bold]Severian[/bold] wrote: The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere. I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because not all parents are poor... Parents of moderate wealth would never consider sending their child to school in economy uniforms. It just takes a handful of kids to wear superior clothes for a clear class divide to start. That postage stamp sized "Polo", "Jaeger", "Pringle", "CK", "Lyle & Scott" on the chest identifying who has succesful educated parents, and who doesn't. You just need to look at the pages of this newspaper to recognise the hatred expressed by sections of the community towards enlargement or opening of new Tesco stores - children pick up on this very quickly and learn to disapprove of the relevant peers. A formal uniform from a narrow range of outlets is a great leveller, albeit a stretch for some and a lowering of expectations for others. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

12:32am Mon 3 Sep 12

davyboy says...

Summertown Star 12 A* wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Severian wrote:
The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere.

I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper.
Perhaps because not all parents are poor...

Parents of moderate wealth would never consider sending their child to school in economy uniforms.

It just takes a handful of kids to wear superior clothes for a clear class divide to start. That postage stamp sized "Polo", "Jaeger", "Pringle", "CK", "Lyle & Scott" on the chest identifying who has succesful educated parents, and who doesn't.

You just need to look at the pages of this newspaper to recognise the hatred expressed by sections of the community towards enlargement or opening of new Tesco stores - children pick up on this very quickly and learn to disapprove of the relevant peers.

A formal uniform from a narrow range of outlets is a great leveller, albeit a stretch for some and a lowering of expectations for others.
I don't know why schools have uniforms full stop. Take one of the best state school in the country our own Cherwell School. They do not have a uniform, yet return the best exam results, perhaps Cheney should concentrate on improving their teaching, rather than punishing pupils for incorrect attire. What is more important in a school, having the kids all look the same, or providing a good education.
whilst i can understand the 'non-uniform' argument, you then get kids arriving in top of the range trainers etc, and therefore stigmatising again those whose parents cannot afford these things. uniform is a good thing, but the idea of cheaper blazers etc from high st shops, with sew on logos is a much better idea
[quote][p][bold]Summertown Star 12 A*[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Severian[/bold] wrote: The Cooper School in Bicester changed its uniform policy a few years ago and introduced blazers. The idea is to have a simple uniform, at a low cost to parents. Kids now have to wear a black blazer (£10 from Tesco) and black trousers (2 pairs for £7) or skirt. The tie is supplied by the school and you can buy a sew-on badge for the blazer. Jumpers and shirts are simply plain ones you can buy anywhere. I don't understand why some schools still insist on having really expensive uniforms from specialist suppliers, rather than letting parents buy plain uniforms from Asda, Tesco, BHS etc. which are miles cheaper.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because not all parents are poor... Parents of moderate wealth would never consider sending their child to school in economy uniforms. It just takes a handful of kids to wear superior clothes for a clear class divide to start. That postage stamp sized "Polo", "Jaeger", "Pringle", "CK", "Lyle & Scott" on the chest identifying who has succesful educated parents, and who doesn't. You just need to look at the pages of this newspaper to recognise the hatred expressed by sections of the community towards enlargement or opening of new Tesco stores - children pick up on this very quickly and learn to disapprove of the relevant peers. A formal uniform from a narrow range of outlets is a great leveller, albeit a stretch for some and a lowering of expectations for others.[/p][/quote]I don't know why schools have uniforms full stop. Take one of the best state school in the country our own Cherwell School. They do not have a uniform, yet return the best exam results, perhaps Cheney should concentrate on improving their teaching, rather than punishing pupils for incorrect attire. What is more important in a school, having the kids all look the same, or providing a good education.[/p][/quote]whilst i can understand the 'non-uniform' argument, you then get kids arriving in top of the range trainers etc, and therefore stigmatising again those whose parents cannot afford these things. uniform is a good thing, but the idea of cheaper blazers etc from high st shops, with sew on logos is a much better idea davyboy
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Mon 3 Sep 12

sexybabe33 says...

Whilest I strongly agree that Schools should have a uniform, I also think that Schools have a responsibility to provide a reasonably priced uniform. My son is starting Primary School tomorrow and we've had to fork out £40 for two embroided jumpers and one embroided apron bought from the School's suppliers. On top of £15 for trousers, £10 for polo shirts, £5 for grey socks (this I do not understand at all!) £28 on shoes, £20 on PE trainers plus stationery and lunch box etc. That is a total of £125!! That is without even considering that he will out-grow his shoes and trainers before the end of the School year which we will have to fork out another almost £50 for. Then we have to buy it all over again next year! Why can't Schools provide iron/sew on badges so that we can buy multi-packs of jumpers from shops for £10? I can't even imagine how much his uniform will cost when he goes to Secondary School.
Whilest I strongly agree that Schools should have a uniform, I also think that Schools have a responsibility to provide a reasonably priced uniform. My son is starting Primary School tomorrow and we've had to fork out £40 for two embroided jumpers and one embroided apron bought from the School's suppliers. On top of £15 for trousers, £10 for polo shirts, £5 for grey socks (this I do not understand at all!) £28 on shoes, £20 on PE trainers plus stationery and lunch box etc. That is a total of £125!! That is without even considering that he will out-grow his shoes and trainers before the end of the School year which we will have to fork out another almost £50 for. Then we have to buy it all over again next year! Why can't Schools provide iron/sew on badges so that we can buy multi-packs of jumpers from shops for £10? I can't even imagine how much his uniform will cost when he goes to Secondary School. sexybabe33
  • Score: 0

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