Families, learners and staff will remember that when I started
at the school last Easter, I shared the result of all of the
feedback I collected from them in the run up to taking up my
post. Our core objectives, our six capitals and our values
(Trust, Respect, Equity and Excellence) were developed out of
this feedback which led to the creation of our school
development plan.
You will also recall me stating that I did not want to put all my
energy into changing our uniform. However, what I found was
something that was at odds with what you all wanted and was
not congruent with the message we were putting out. I found
that the dress code was not applied with any consistency
which resulted in inequity across the school and was at the
heart of a great deal of frustration. I found there to be no
issues with our dress code; the issue lies in its implementation
and its consistency of application.
I believe that we have a choice. We either have a dress code
or we don’t, and if we do have one let’s ensure we use it. We
have listened to the feedback provided by families and
learners over the last year and have made some modifications
to the wording of the dress code to ensure clarity. I would like
to give you advance notice of these changes to the published
dress code so that you have plenty of time to prepare for
September 2019.
In September, we were really pleased with how learners
embraced our expectations and met our dress code, and that
families supported us with making this transition. On the
whole, we were pleased with the reception, however, we were
aware of some misunderstanding surrounding our
expectations on particular aspects of the dress code.
Therefore, we have reflected on this to try and make things
clearer and more transparent moving forward. In doing so, one
of the areas we have reviewed is the wording around shoes as
this was a particular area of confusion for a small number of
families. Although, it is hard to cover for every eventuality in
regards to what retailers are offering in terms of ‘school shoes’
as fashions and trends change, we recognise it will be an area
we will need to revisit each year as new styles are ever
evolving. We want families to be able to buy with confidence,
not always trusting ‘school wear’ signs in shops as they often
try to boost sales by labelling trainer-style shoes as ‘school
wear’. Please do check with us first if in doubt in advance of
buying footwear if you are in any doubt to its suitability.
The other main issue which has arisen is around the suitability
of girl’s skirts. We appreciate that this can be a difficult area
for both girls and their parents/carers when trying to find
suitable skirts for school.
Often girls can feel pressurised by fashions and peers to
adhere to what everyone else is wearing so that they feel
that they fit in. Sometimes current trends can then lead girls
into wearing skirts which are not appropriate for school. To
assist families with this dilemma and ensure that girls are not
wearing skirts which are too short and/or too tight we have
been working with our supplier Anglia Sports to create two
skirt choices, which will have the school motif embroidered
on. These will be the only skirts allowed as from September
2019. We will have a transitional phase over the summer
term whilst our supplier is getting the stock ready. However,
I wanted to bring this development in our dress code to
families at the earliest opportunity so that families do not
commit to purchasing skirts for the summer term which will
not be acceptable from September. We are currently liaising
with our supplier to see if they are able to come in during the
summer term so that there is an opportunity for girls to try
on the skirts so that they are able to order the appropriate
size and length (knee length or below) if they wish to wear a
skirt to school. Once we have more details around this, we
will share this information with families as soon as possible. If
girls do not wish to wear a skirt then they will of course have
the option of wearing smart black trousers, but these must
not be denim, chinos or leggings and must be full length
trousers.
I am aware that parents have mixed views on school uniform
and appreciate that we will not please everyone when it
comes to our dress code expectations, however as a school
we do have a dress code policy and this will only work
successfully if learners and families fully support us with it
regardless of whether or not they agree with it. I imagine
that parents/carers would much rather we spent our time on
other aspects of school life in particular the learning that our
learners are engaged in, we too would much rather not
spend our time dealing with situations where learners are not
meeting the dress code requirements. In order to help us to
do this, we would value the continued support from families
in ensuring their child/children are correctly dressed and
meeting the expectations set. As a school we are committed
to retaining an affordable uniform, other schools have made
all aspects of their school uniform compulsory. This is
something we do not wish to do. The decisions we make
around dress code are designed to support families and not
hinder them. If families find themselves in difficult
positions, please contact the school directly for support.
Please see the revised dress code attached for full details of
requirements for September 2019. We are also creating a
visual guidance document which will be available shortly to
families to further support learners and families to be clear
about the expectations set.
Thank you for your continuing support

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