Can you buy cheap school uniforms? Poll Discussion

edited 30 August 2011 at 10:28PM in Money Saving Polls
44 replies 6.3K views
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  • SooetieSooetie Forumite
    141 Posts
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    Please beware of purse dippers while you are buying uniform.

    2 years ago I was in the designated school supplier's shop and I had my purse stolen.

    Yes I should have taken more care and I feel such a twit, but as it transpired it was a gang of foreigners and even the police were suprised they did it in that shop. It appears it was a woman who suprisingly I managed to describe well enough that the police were able to track her on CCTV until they lost the car she got into on the motorway. Months later the police updated me that they were still following the gang but getting somewhere.

    Hind sight - does this person look out of place? It wasn't until I thought back that I realised she didn't seem to have a child with her.
    There were a couple of other mothers in the same small area trying clothes against their children. Move into an area where you have some space.

    Needless to say the shop did not help at all - didn't even ring the police for me.

    It's gutting to have your purse nicked and makes you feel like an idiot for letting it happen so please just take care.

    All the best for the new school year

    Soo x
  • SlowdownSlowdown Forumite
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    Schools, by law, are not allowed to make you buy uniform from a specific supplier. They can request you do so but cannot enforce this. They can provide badge for you to put on but if you chose to buy generic uniform for any reason they cannot stop you or in any way penalise you for it.
  • Thing is though they can. Guidance says they SHOULD have more than one supplier but doesnt say they MUST. This is how they get away with it.

    As for sew on badges I made that point at school 3 years ago and was told by Chair of Govs that this was "tatty".

    Guidance also says kids cannot be excluded for an infringement of uniform alone, only if its part of a series of infringements. They can only be sent home for the time it takes to get changed. But what if you dont have something for them to change to?

    What schools do is embarrass the kids in front of the others so that your kids come home and are upset so you do the "decent" thing and buy whatever.

    At daughters school they have been a bit less strict in the last year and unfortunately it has meant that the kids have pushed the rules to the limit, so from this term its back to strict again. My point is still though that if a child doesnt have correct stuff then the school shouldnt challenge the child but contact the parent(as per DCSF guidance). They need to give them a reasonable time to sort it. However I also think if a girl has too much make up or dyed hair than school should in that case also challenge the child. Trouble is parents dont back up the school. I know that the Head called a mother about her son's hair and her answer was that it would grow out and wasnt affecting his learning. Head pointed out that it was affecting others at school as they were copying.

    I find it so difficult cos if school are reasonable then people take advantage and if they are over strict people who are suffering financially get to suffer further.
  • As for sew on badges I made that point at school 3 years ago and was told by Chair of Govs that this was "tatty".

    DC's school has iron-on badges so you don't need to be wizz with the old sewing needle to get a perfect finish. Apparently the special adhesive is the type they use to put logos on football shirts. So if it's good enough for Nike, Adidas and the like it should be OK for a school. :D
  • Mrs_ArcanumMrs_Arcanum Forumite
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    My children's senior school only insists on branded Sweatshirts & Polo shirts purchased from the school.
    All other kit can be generic but if they are involved in team sports outside school will need the relevant PE shirt or School Band Polo Shirt.

    So none of the choices quite fit.

    Gripe is the 20% VAT is charged on ALL sizes regardless.
    Truth always poses doubts & questions. Only lies are 100% believable, because they don't need to justify reality. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Labyrinth of the Spirits
  • I have been having this argument with my kids school for a few years now ever since they appointed a supplier for their uniform.

    The supplier just happened to be the most expensive supplier in the local area and the head teachers excuse was that he wanted all the kids to wear the same clothing.

    I challenged him about this and suggested that it was more to do with financial gain for the school, he immediately became very evasive and offered to pay part towards the increased cost of the uniform.

    I have been campaigning for a few years to stop this practice but I haven't been able to drum up enough support. It appears that like everything else the good old english folk will just put up with whatever they are told instead of fighting back.

    My eldest child has now left school but I still have three boys there, everything but the shirts and shoes are compulsory logo'd items from the expensive supplier they chose. They are adding more and more compulsory items to the list each year which now includes the PE kit. Not taking into account replacement items when they ruin the clothes it is already running into several hundred pounds just to go back to school.

    I was very disappointed with the OFT's investigation into the exclusive supplier arrangement. Nothing was actually done about the situation and schools have just got greedier.

    Instead of using expensive suppliers the schools could buy the blazers etc from generic suppliers and buy embroidery machines. They could then teach the kids embroidery as well as make their own logo's. This would reduce the cost of the uniforms and teach the kids at the school another skill. They won't though because this won't earn them as much as having an exclusive supplier giving them an xx% kickback!!!!
  • OccyOccy Forumite
    146 Posts
    We are in the same boat as a lot of angry parents, my daughter's senior school has one supplier only and they are terrifically expensive (£25 for a grey girls skirt).

    We dutifully ordered items from them two weeks before start of term, I got a phone call saying the did not have the stock the size I wanted and blamed me for ordering too late, geez you can not have it both ways.

    Occy.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    C25K Graduate :D
  • Occy wrote: »
    We are in the same boat as a lot of angry parents, my daughter's senior school has one supplier only and they are terrifically expensive (£25 for a grey girls skirt).

    We dutifully ordered items from them two weeks before start of term, I got a phone call saying the did not have the stock the size I wanted and blamed me for ordering too late, geez you can not have it both ways.

    Occy.

    IMO the quality of the clothing from these exclusive suppliers is no better and in some cases worse than the generic suppliers.

    My nephew who lives with me is very heavy on clothing, when we could purchase the clothing from any supplier he rarely ruined his trousers. Since the sole supplier he has ripped them, broken zips and generally worn them out.

    I am extremely angry about the situation, it has absolutely nothing to do with quality, more about the schools image but what annoys me most is that schooling is compulsory but supposedly free in this country but schools are free to force us to purchase a uniform from a specific outlet, earning themselves money in the process.:mad:
  • edited 6 September 2011 at 6:58PM
    popadompopadom Forumite
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    edited 6 September 2011 at 6:58PM
    and buy whatever.

    I know that the Head called a mother about her son's hair and her answer was that it would grow out and wasnt affecting his learning. Head pointed out that it was affecting others at school as they were copying.
    .
    It isnt really affecting their learning though is it? If schools have guidelines, i think the kids should try to stick to them. Im not talking about dying hari red as its not what should be done in school, but a hair cut is diffrent.

    I remember when i was in year 8 a boy came into school with almost no hair. The school said you cant have under grade 2 i think. the boy was really upset. But the school sent him home. It turned out the mum had cut his hair and totally messed it up by cutting to short. He couldnt really help it. It annoys me when schools pick on the kids first, then call the parent.

    edit: what can schools do if you dont sent your kids in the correct stuff. Education is free in this country. Could they suspend the kid? But when what.
  • It appears that like everything else the good old english folk will just put up with whatever they are told instead of fighting back.

    Well let's hope that Martin can help sort this out. It's a problem that's been going on for decades. Just because it's been going on for decades doesn't make it right.
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