Peterborough school’s uniform change is not a smart move for hard-up parents

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
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“Hurry up and put your uniform on’’ is a cry that goes up at Thornton Towers every school day and I’m sure it is a scene played out in thousands of Peterborough households.

I am 100 per cent behind the idea of every school pupil dressing smartly in a uniform.

Nene Park Academy principal Rob Grover sums it up perfectly when he says: “We have high expectations and standards in all areas of the school, and our students demonstrate this through wearing their uniform correctly and with pride.”

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I couldn’t agree more. Yet if my children were pupils at his school I would be very unhappy with Mr Grover.

The school has infuriated parents by insisting pupils must wear trousers and skirts with a school logo on.

This wouldn’t be an issue were it not for the fact that trousers with the logo on will cost up to £10 a pair more than a plain pair and will only be available from one supplier.

At a time when many mums and dads (and everybody else) are feeling the pinch of the Government’s austerity policies this leaves a sizeable hole in parents’ pockets.

Many have got in touch with the PT to complain. All support having a uniform (they already pay for branded ties, jumpers and PE kit) but are angry at what they see as an unnecessary extra cost.

One parent pointed out that when worn with a jumper the logo on the trousers would not be visible!

With 800 pupils (sixth formers don’t have the same uniform rules) that is an extra cost burden on parents of £8,000 a year – and that’s in the unlikely case that one pair lasts a year.

Parents (including me) would clearly prefer to trouser that cash themselves.