The King’s School defends new uniform to reflect raising ‘expectations and aspirations’

Rob Gammon, headteacher of The King's School

Rob Gammon, headteacher of The King's School - Credit: Archant

Parents in Ottery St Mary have raised some concerns over proposals

The King’s School’s headteacher has defended plans to change uniforms to reflect an ethos of ‘raising expectations’ in all areas of education.

Scores of parents took to social media to comment on proposals - under which students could be expected to wear white shirts and blazers from September 2017 – with many raising concerns about associated costs.

Although a final decision on the matter is yet to be made, samples of new clothing have been put out to informal consultation, sparking concern from some about whether the change will hit already cash-strapped families.

The proposals have split opinion among parents, with some welcoming a move to ‘smarter’ uniforms that will set a more consistent standard, while others argued it is ‘a waste of time and money’.

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Some of the concerns raised included the possibility that a stipulation for leather shoes would be at odds with beliefs of vegetarians and vegans, and fears that blazers are expensive to replace if lost or stolen.

Headteacher Rob Gammon said: “We firmly believe that a school uniform has a valuable role to play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

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“Whilst there is much to celebrate about our school, we are not complacent and continue to be ambitious for the school and its students. We strive to be one of the best schools in the country and, as a result, we have a clear focus on raising expectations in all areas of school life - including uniform.

“I have approached the governing body to get its authority to explore a change in uniform to one which reflects the expectations and aspirations of our school and its community.”

The governing body has agreed the school can undertake a review of its uniform and said students and parents will be formally consulted as soon as there is a firm proposal.

It is likely any change would be compulsory for the new year seven intake 2017/18 and The King’s School will seek the views of parents and students before making a final decision about the impact of the proposals on other year groups within the school.

A price comparison will be provided with the consultation document and information about the support on offer to families who face financial difficulties will be published following any decision made by the governing body.

Mr Gammon – who took over as headteacher in September – said The King’s School is committed to ensuring that the uniform is practical, comfortable and affordable, with costs in line with other schools in the area.

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