Money Moral Dilemma: Should I challenge my daughter's school over pricier uniform with logos?

MSE_Kelvin Posts: 332
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MSE Staff
edited 26 September 2023 at 1:18PM in MoneySaving dads
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

My daughter is starting at a secondary school that requires pupils to wear blazers, skirts and trousers with its logo on. Trousers with the logo on are up to £16 a pair. In contrast, you can get two pairs of school trousers for £12 from a well-known retailer. Government guidance says "schools should keep branded items to a minimum and limit their use to low cost or long-lasting items". I asked about this and got a fudged answer. I want a good relationship with the school and don't want my daughter disadvantaged by me kicking up a fuss, so should I grin and bear it and find the money to buy the required uniform, or take it further?

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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,297
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    Really don't see the point of a logo on skirts and trousers other than as a money making exercise. Blazer is slightly different. So I think I'd be going back to them and reiterating the government guidance and asking for them to reconsider in view of government guidance and get a proper answer in writing if they don't agree.
    Second point to consider though is how your daughter would feel if she was the only one who was different? May not be an issue for her, and it may be that other parents are in the same position but for some kids being different at the start of a new school could be difficult for them. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • elsien said:
    Really don't see the point of a logo on skirts and trousers other than as a money making exercise. Blazer is slightly different. 
    It will depend on the schools dress code but... if you think there is justification for it on the blazer and assuming the blazer ceases to be part of the dress code in summer then doesn't it become equally as justified on the other more robust/lasting item of clothing?

    In my school up until my last year you had to wear the blazer all year round when visible from the outside basically. The school defined the outfit and did sell their own versions of everything other than shoes but you could also buy the crest to sew onto a third party blazer. 

    In the final year they declared that in summer the blazer could be dropped (optionally) but instead you had to wear a shirt with the school crest embroided on it instead of the normal plain shirt.

    Having it on the shirt when not wearing a blazer makes more sense than trousers/skirts but clearly kids have many more shirts than skirts/trousers and so perhaps it is an acknowledgement of the government guidance.

    Our school probably didn't follow it fully... all clothes could be bought anywhere (other than tie) but the uniform changed every couple of years creating unnecessary waste. Certainly a few kids will have well outgrown their uniform in the later part of the summer term but parents were hanging on as the following year uniform will be different 
  • We has this at my child's secondary. I bought plain trousers and skirts and purchased the required blazer badge and tie for each of my children. It wasn't challenged in the whole 5 years they attended. I wasn't the only parent who did this.
  • My grammar school sold the school badge in the school office, you sewed it on your blazer pocket yourself. Perhaps all schools wanting logos on their kit should be doing that.
  • Be like Zammo. Just say no. 
  • daveeeeed
    daveeeeed Posts: 164
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 8:17PM
    Check the details of the school uniform policy (should be on the website). What are the consequences of wearing plain trousers in the same colour/style as branded ones? 
    Does the school have a second hand uniform shop (for both buying and selling/donating uniforms that are no longer needed)? Or is there a PTA that could help set one up?
    Depending on the answers to these questions, this would be a good one to raise with the school governors (there should be at least one parent governor, and chair of governors can be contacted through the clerk to the governors, again details should be on school website). 
    Amongst lots of other things, Governors should be balancing school brand/image with sustainability/affordability within the context of the school community, and making sure that changes and policies are clearly communicated. 
  • I went to an independent school on a bursary.  They changed the uniform halfway through my time there, assuming that all pupils' families were loaded and ignoring the circumstances of families like mine.  Old black blazer had yellow braid on the sleeves and school name initials on the outside breast pocket; new one had no braid and a logo on the pocket.  Old black jumper had a yellow stripe around the V-neck and at the cuffs and no logo; new one had no yellow stripe, but a logo embroidered on the chest.  My mother sewed black tape over the yellow braid and embroidered the new logo: directly onto the jumpers, onto a black iron-on patch she added to the blazer.  
  • That’s the school uniform. Surely you knew what it was before you applied. If your not happy choose a different school.
  • I don't think it's right to require logos on anything other than the blazer/jumper. But I wouldn't get too worked up about such a small issue. You have to weigh up the fact that people who get angry/frustrated/upset over small issues like this end up with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.
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