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Ashfield parents slam “unaffordable” uniform

Online applications for secondary school places for autumn 2018 are about to close on Lancashire County Council's website.
Online applications for secondary school places for autumn 2018 are about to close on Lancashire County Council's website.

Parents of children at an academy school have criticised the school for proposing a new uniform that they say will be an extra cost to them.

In a letter sent to parents on May 17, Sutton Community Academy advised parents they would require trousers and skirts to have the school uniform logo on them, and that no other trousers or skirts could be worn.

Pupils will be required to wear the uniform from September.

However one parent, who did not wish to be named said: “There has been no consultation with parents, they are not taking into account cost of extra items, there’s only a single source for these items and the extra items are excessive.”

They added: “They are trying to change school uniform, without following government guidelines. They are also hiding parents comments on their Facebook page post.”

Parents voiced their concerns on a post on Facebook, condemning the expense of the new uniform, saying that the trousers could cost £15 a pair.

Carrie Austin said on Facebook: “It’s really not on. For people with and without money. It’s just an expense parents shouldn’t have to pay out as it makes zero difference to their kids education.”

David Mackey, senior assistant principle at Sutton Community Academy said: “There has been an issue with consistency with uniforms, and staff were spending a lot of resources and time dealing with uniform issues. With the new uniforms, staff don’t have to spend too much time on uniforms.”

He added: “I wouldn’t want parents to spend too much money. We have worked with the company providing these items to get the best price, and they will last a long time. It will be more economically viable for parents as the uniform may be more expensive initially, but they are good quality garments that will last longer.”

“Parents may buy four or five pairs of trousers over the year, but they will only have to buy two pairs of these.”

He added that government guidelines state that the school should provide the best value for money for parents, and he is confident they have done that.