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Everest buys every pupil new £65 school uniform
A BASINGSTOKE secondary school has spent an average of £65 on every pupil to buy them all a new school uniform.
When Everest Community Academy converted to an academy in September 2011, it was given a grant of around £60,000 from the Department for Education (DfE) to pay for start-up costs, which included £62 per child to change the uniform to reflect the academy status.
Principal Julie Rose decided at the time to delay the uniform change until 2012, because it was too late to implement for the start of the new year in 2011. Now, the school has provided all of its 785 pupils with a new skirt or trousers, a blazer with the new logo, a tie, two shirts or blouses and a PE kit, and has topped up the fund from the DfE using its own budget.
The new logo was chosen by students who voted for their favourite from a shortlist of three. Parents can now order the uniform from the community part of the school, and it is provided by a Basingstoke supplier. Ms Rose said the new uniform will ensure pupils look the same and wear the same standard of clothes, rather than buying skirts or trousers from fashion shops.
She added: “We haven’t got children squeezing into really tight leggings – they all look very good.”
However, not everyone was happy with the change. Parent Joanne Pither complained that the new skirt she has for her daughter is too short and see-through. She added: “I am not happy for her to wear it.”
Ali Beecham, head of school at Everest, said she was not aware of any complaints regarding the appearance of the uniform. She added: “We have tried to get more consistency. Some parents buy expensive things and others feel under pressure because of that. We want to keep everyone on a level footing so all students look the same.”
Ms Beecham said there were teething problems in the first week regarding sizes, and some items needed exchanging. But she said the school had been sympathetic, and acted leniently with those in the wrong uniform for the first few days of the new school year.