Following the recent article in Lytham St.Anne’s News which was headlined by a complaint from a mother of a student at St.Bede’s Catholic High School on Talbot Road stating that, following a change in uniform policy, she now has to buy expensive, specific, bespoke items – which if unbadged can be bought at a fraction of the cost at high street stores, the school has sent this letter to parents.
I would like to provide an update regarding the introduction of the replacement school skirt for September 2022. I can confirm that from September our uniform policy will provide three options for all pupils:
- Traditional black school trousers from any retailer (as is currently the case)
- A new alternative tailored trouser, available from Saint Bede’s uniform retailers
- The new badged knee-length school skirt, available from Saint Bede’s uniform retailers
The existing school skirt will not be permissible for any pupil from September 2022. As I have previously indicated, the school recognises that the purchase of the new skirt generates an additional cost to some families at what is a particularly challenging time financially. As a result, the school will be offering a package of financial support to assist some families with the purchase of a new skirt. I will provide full details after half-term, but in summary:
- The school will purchase a new skirt for all pupils currently in Years 7-10 who require a new skirt and are eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant (this includes pupils eligible for a free school meal at any time in the last 6 years).
- The school will purchase a new skirt for any family where there is more than one pupil currently in Years 7-10 who require a new skirt (i.e. siblings).
- The school will offer a ‘buy-back’ scheme to families of pupils currently in Year 10 who require a new skirt. This will involve the school reimbursing families £10 (approximately 50% of the cost of a new skirt) for a new skirt that is returned to the school in a reusable condition once these pupils leave Saint Bede’s in Summer 2023.
We will also encourage parents/carers of other pupils, who do not fall into the categories above but who are concerned about meeting the cost of the new skirt, to contact the school to discuss what support we can provide. The process is likely to involve parents/carers purchasing the new skirt from one of our uniform retailers and then submitting a receipt to the school, which we will reimburse.
Shortly after half-term we will be meeting with our uniform suppliers to confirm the final arrangements for the sale of the new skirt and trouser option. Following this meeting I will write to you again to confirm when these garments will be available to purchase. Thank you for your support.
Mr P Marsden
The original article may be accessed here: https://www.lythamstannes.news/news/high-school-uniform-local-mother-disgusted-at-expense-of-enforced-specific-bespoke-items/
This change of uniform feels even more ridiculous when you consider it was a ‘big bang’ implementation (rather than phased in from year 7) that leaves uniform providers with badged skirts that are a style they simply cannot sell any more. It’s hard to think of any reasonable justification for the headmaster to demand such an urgent change. Not only are local stockists left out of pocket, due to understandable complaints, the school is now paying out extra to subsidise the implementation while simultaneously requesting funding from parents to cover the cost of education. How can the school justify any request for a annual ‘parent contribution’ when they spend money on a completely unnecessary change in style of skirt?