White Hills Park Federation School Uniform Update.
As most of you will know, last year we decided to introduce a new uniform from 2016.
Without repeating myself too much, there are a number of reasons why we feel the need for this change. With the amount and range of lessons that take place in cross-Federation groups, it is very difficult, not to mention confusing for students and staff, to run two completely different uniform codes side by side.
We also feel that we have fallen out of step with other schools, and our uniforms are not as smart as most others.
As I have written before, the criteria for the new uniform are as follows:
Uniform must be affordable to parents, and the basic elements must be easily available to buy from more than one source;
Uniform must reflect the high expectations we have of students, be smart and encourage students to take pride in themselves and their school;
Uniform must be practical and suitable to the demands of the modern curriculum as well as the vagaries of the British weather;
Uniform must reflect our Federation identity, whilst keeping the individual distinction between Schools.
As I have also said, the basic style of the uniform that has been agreed by the Directors’ Student and Community Committee will incorporate blazers and ties.
I understand and respect the fact that there has been a range of responses from students, staff and parents – a majority in favour of the change, some opposed, most recognising that the change to a more consistent approach is sensible.
We are now at the design and planning stage, and want to make sure that our students have an input into this process.
One way we will do this is by having a ‘Design a Tie’ competition.
All students are encouraged to enter and our winner will be able to see their design in place on every student from next year.
I will talk to students in Assembly over the next week or so, and competition forms will be available from Reception and on the School websites.
The new uniform will not come into force until September 2016.
Over the next year, we will have some transitional arrangements so that parents do not have to buy the current uniform for the sake of a few weeks or months and we will also have transitional arrangements for next year’s Year 11.
We are in discussions with suppliers to make sure there is excellent availability, both in shops and online, and that most of the elements can be bought from non-specialist shops.
Until then, we will continue with the current system and continue to expect our students to wear their uniform with pride and respect.
I understand that school uniform is only a small element of school life. However, it should reflect the high value we place on our schools and students. I hope that these changes will achieve this.
Paul Heery, Executive Headteacher