UPDATED: 'Hideous' and 'too expensive' are among the comments from angry Marshland High School parents on a proposed new uniform for pupils - but school says it will help with cost
Plans to change a uniform at a Fenland secondary school have resulted in a public outcry by parents over the cost and look of what is being proposed.
Marshland High School at West Walton is currently consulting parents on three options for a new uniform and have sent out letters asking for comments before November 4.
The school said the move is to wipe out inconsistency particularly with trousers and skirts so everyone knows what the school's expectations are.
It also said: "School uniform plays an important part in communicating our school ethos and expectations.
"Wearing the school uniform correctly demonstrates a student’s respect for their school and for others, and contributes towards good school discipline. It teaches students to take pride in their appearance."
However, a post on Facebook by one angry mum has gathered more than 250 comments with nearly all negative over the changes, which will be brought in next autumn.
The letter contained three options for parents to choose from. All will cost parents the best part of £100 to buy and will only be available via a special website. One option proposes a ‘try before you buy showroom’ that will be located in Peterborough where students can be measured for size.
Most of the comments criticise not only the cost but also the look of the choices with many parents branding them “hideous”, “ugly” and “old-fashioned”.
All three include blazers, one option includes tartan skirts for the girls, with another having a sleeveless jumper or tank top as an optional extra. They all include a tie, which will cost around £8 to buy. The blazers are nearly £40 each.
Those commenting felt the proposed changes are unnecessary and say the current uniform was only introduced a couple of years ago.
One mum, who did not want to be named, contacted the Citizen amid concerns the parents views would simply be “ignored” by the school.
She said: “Since the post went up on Sunday there have been over 220 answers with parents saying about the cost, which is ridiculous and more than some London schools, plus you look like a Pontins employee - they are hideous. We are just concerned that although we are emailing our views we think they will just be ignored.”
Many of the parents commenting suggest that if a blazer is wanted, then a simple black one with a sew-on school badge added to the current uniform would be the best and cheapest solution.
Among those commenting was one mum who wrote: “I’ve already replied my thoughts on this, it’s vile and an inappropriate need when there is nothing wrong with the uniform they already have plus it’s far too expensive.”
Another said: “Is this really going to make the teaching/learning level any better?”
And yet another added: “If they want to add a blazer why don’t they design a black one that can go with the current uniform....oh and the price is ridiculous.”
Many of the comments raised concerns about the cost, which for a blazer two skirts/trousers and a tie will set parents back £100.
One mum said: “The cost of a full uniform will be out of the price range of low income families, wasn’t that the idea of a school uniform making it affordable for all.”
While another added: “Why change it? Honestly? I’ve worked with parents who have had had to have food bank vouchers due to cost of uniforms.”
School head Craig Jansen said: "The school fully understands the financial pressures faced by some of our parents. Any change to the uniform would be subsidised by the school for all parents, ensuring it remains affordable. In addition, our school will provide up to a further 75 per cent contribution to any remaining cost for those families that need further financial assistance, depending on their circumstances."