Wellingborough parents angry at cost of school uniform changes

Weavers Academy in Wellingborough
Weavers Academy in Wellingborough

Parents of pupils who attend a Wellingborough secondary school are petitioning the head teacher after the introduction of a controversial new uniform policy.

Weavers Academy wrote to parents at the end of May to inform families that from September 2019 pupils could only wear trousers or skirts with a school logo.

The letter set out the prices of uniforms with the introduction of black trousers priced £17 and the new-look grey checked skirt for £18.50 - both with an embroidered motif.

Items are to be supplied by official stockist Price & Buckland and only via its website.

After receiving complaints vice-principal Samantha Satyanadhan sent a letter to parents and carers yesterday (Wednesday) stating that the school had arranged a discount.

The skirt cost has been reduced by £1.55 to £18.50; the trousers will now cost £12.95, a reduction of £4.05.

However, any clothes with a 28” waist (12-13 years) or above cost an extra 20 per cent, making the trousers £16.95 and the skirts £20.34 each.

Mrs Satyanadhan said: “In response to the concerns the school has negotiated a reduction in the pricing whilst maintaining the high quality of the items.

“Additionally, in order to further reduce the cost to families in the academic year 2019-2020, the school will cover the cost of the school logo.”

Angry parents have taken to social media to complain about the cost of the official garments compared with supermarket-bought clothing.

Lesley Wright, whose daughter 12-year-old daughter Emily attends Weavers Academy, said: “I’m just so cross - why should we have to buy a pair of trousers at that cost when I can buy two pairs for £12 from a supermarket?

“I would usually spend £7 to £10 on a skirt, and we have been told that the price could go back up to the original level after this year.

“It’s not just the cost, it’s the lack of different styles and lack of bigger sizes.

“I would like the parents to have been consulted but I was told the pupils were asked, not us, the people who pay for the clothes.”

Amy Da Costa’s son Elliott is in Year 7. She said: “I have been told that if children come to school in the wrong uniform they will be missing their free time.

“I give my children a clean uniform every day and even though I work full time I won’t be able to afford the cost.

“Money is tight enough as it is in the world that we live in - I pay about £40 for uniform but that would increase to £85.

“If this situation carries on we will make a scene - all we want is it to be cheaper.”

Another parent who has a son in Year 8 added: “I have spoken with the vice-principal and she’s said there have been issues with boys wearing skinny trousers and girls wearing short skirts which are both against school uniform policy but the embroidered items are so expensive.

“They need to have a sew-on or iron-on badge which can be used on other clothes.

“My son is 13 and is constantly growing out of his clothes. His brother is going to a different secondary school so I won’t be able to pass on the trousers to him.”

A spokesman for Weavers Academy said: “Students at Weavers Academy dress smartly and take great pride in their school.

“We are making some modifications to the school uniform for September 2019 and are providing each student with one of the new items free of charge.

“All new Year 7 students are provided with a full set of uniform items free of charge each year as well.

“We are pleased that so many students and their parents are supportive of the school and have already placed initial orders for uniform for September 2019.”

A spokesman for Creative Education Trust which runs Weavers Academy as well as Wrenn School said that there were no plans to introduce the same policy at Wrenn.