The Greater Manchester mum says her daughter’s old uniform is still new because she studied from home during the pandemic. She said blazers for the redesigned have already sold out
A mum has hit out at a school after she was forced to fork out £350 in one year for uniform after it was redesigned.
Having spent £200 on uniform for Tottington High School in Bury last September, the mum has had to replace the most expensive items for her daughter after the school launched a new design.
The Manchester Evening News reports that the old blazers with a viking ship emblem have been replaced with ones bearing the school’s initials, black skirts have been replaced with a blue and black tartan pattern and both girls and boys need a new blue tie.
The mum, who did not want to be identified, says the new uniform looks better, but she feels it should have been phased in from Year 7, rather than every year group having to wear it – except for those going into Year 11.
“They have changed the full girls uniform more than the boys, which includes new skirts, shirt style, they’ve added a tie and new blazer,” she said. “They have changed what shoe style they can have also and for the boys, they have changed the tie and blazer.
“It’s compulsory for all young people year 7 to 10 with year 11 being able to wear the old one. It should have been phased out from the new year 7 this year until they got to year 11. People don’t have hundreds of pounds each year replacing personalised, badged uniform.”
The mum, whose other child is in Year 11 and can keep the old uniform, added: “Her old uniform is new as they hardly wore it because of Covid.
“Don’t get me wrong, it looks better but it’s not the point when you have bought new for last year’s year 7 or like my daughter who has had a whole new one for year 9 and now again for year 10.
“It should have been phased out over the years, or maybe years 8 and 9 changed with the new year 7 intake and 10 and 11 old.
“Either way, we have been forced to change and buy all new. I can’t even get hold of the blazer as they have sold out so I don’t know what I’ll do. She will have use her old one.”
Last year, her daughter’s uniform came to around £200, including shoes and a new PE kit. This year she’s had to spend around £150 again.
For the two children in high school and a third in primary, her entire uniform bill comes to around £500.
The new uniform is displayed on Tottington High’s website, where it states: “The wearing of school uniform is compulsory. Full uniform must be worn in school and when journeying to and from school. When a student is admitted, it is on condition that parents accept our school uniform regulations, and therefore it is assumed that parents are willing to ensure that their child conforms to these in every respect.
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Tottington High School)
“In selecting our school uniform, we have attempted to combine the important factors of neatness, practicality and easy availability. We have tried to avoid burdening parents with unnecessary expenditure on highly distinctive and expensive items of clothing, whilst still achieving high standards of appearance.”
It lists the ‘starting prices’ for the uniform, including blazers from £26.99, jumpers from £14.99, ties from £5.99 and the new tartan skirts from £17.99.
Headteacher Ella Brett told the Manchester Evening News that before making any changes, she personally checked that the new uniform represented ‘excellent value for money’.
She said: “Our new uniform is smart and reasonably priced and it is in keeping with our high standards and expectations in all that we do. In terms of cost, our uniform has been price matched against other schools and it represents very good value for money.
“Uniform is available through local suppliers and parents are also able to buy trousers and some other items from supermarkets if they so wish.
“Our uniform was fully consulted on and our students are wholly in favour of the new uniform, too. Our students picked the style and colour. As you will know, uniform takes time to review and plan and plenty of notice was given to parents regarding the decision to update our uniform.”
She added: “We have had many positive comments about our decision to change our uniform and, as always, we offer financial support where it is required or requested.
“Finally, we constantly advocate that parents do not spend a disproportionate amount of money on expensive uniform items – eg shoes and sportswear – we advise that they purchase sensible, reasonably priced items.”