ANGRY parents have criticised a school which is planning a second uniform change in as many years.
Mums and dads of children at The Marches School, Oswestry, are counting the cost as they face the possibility of forking out anything from £12 to more than £30 per child for new skirts and trousers as the school attempts to discipline unruly pupils who do not adhere to the current uniform code.
The school announced it was planning to bring in the new items displaying the school logo because of complaints from some “frustrated parents” about the battles they were having with children each morning over what they can and cannot wear for school.
By demanding all children wear specific Marches trousers and skirts there will be no room for error or debate, they claim.
But the suggestion has left many parents worrying about their finances, particularly after paying out for new jumpers and ties when the school became an academy last year, as Juliet Mounsey explained.
“How they can do this when we had to pay so much last year as well is beyond me.”
Mark Breeze said he was “absolutely disgusted” by the school’s plans in “these times of austerity”.
“Is the school completely out of touch with the vast majority of parents who regularly struggle financially to appropriately clothe their children?”
He said he never battled with his children over what they wore for school because the rules were “perfectly clear” and felt it was unfair he was being forced to pay extra because some children “constantly attempt to flout uniform rules in the name of fashion”.
The proposals prompted a storm of frustration on Facebook with Sally Donnelly calling it “terrible”.
“Parents who have children starting in September have not been notified of the change of rules regarding skirts/trousers and have already started getting uniform,” she said.
“You can buy skirts/trousers from around £4 in supermarkets.”
Jules Brookes called it “awful” and said: “Education is far more important than what the uniform looks like.”
And Dave Lloyd said that in the five years his daughter had been at the school he had faced four uniform changes.
“The original blue uniform, the new grey uniform, the Year 11 uniform and this proposal for new trousers.”
The Marches said it was listening to all parents.
Claire Buckle, assistant headteacher, said: “We fully understand and appreciate the financial strain many parents are facing and therefore ask that they speak to us to allow us to advise them of the options available.“
They also assured parents they were negotiating with the uniform supplier to keep prices as low as possible in line with Department for Education guidance.
“There is no ‘profit-sharing scheme’ existing between the school and supplier,” she added.
One parent, Cheryl McCarthy, agreed she was annoyed by the cost but added: “I can see why they feel they should bring in a standard skirt and trousers”.
To give feedback a parent forum evening will be held on Monday, June 16 or email gregeory.a@ marchesschool.net
See full story in the Advertizer