School Uniform

Statement of Intent

Berwick St Mary’s CE First School believes that a consistent school uniform policy is vital to promote the ethos of the school and provide a sense of belonging and identity for all pupils, regardless of their protected characteristics or socio-economic circumstances. 

This policy lays out the measures the school has taken to ensure a consistent, fair and inclusive uniform policy, and to implement a uniform that reflects the needs of all pupils, and is affordable and the best value for money for the school and pupils’ families. 

We believe that pupils learn most effectively and achieve their best outcomes when they are comfortable, able to be themselves, and dressed in such a way that sets an appropriate tone for education.

Roles and Responsibilities 

The governing board is responsible for: 

  • Establishing, in consultation with the headteacher and school community, a practical and smart school uniform that accurately reflects the school’s vision and values. 
  • Ensuring that the school’s uniform is accessible and inclusive, and does not disadvantage any pupil by virtue of their protected characteristics or socio-economic status.
  • Listening to the opinions and wishes of parents, pupils and the wider school community regarding changes to the school’s uniform. 
  • Ensuring that the school’s uniform is accessible and affordable. 
  • Demonstrating how best value for money has been achieved in the uniform policy.
  • Ensuring compliance with the DfE’s ‘Cost of school uniforms’ guidance.
  • Processing and approving all eligible School Uniform Assistance Application Forms. 

The headteacher is responsible for:

  • Enforcing the school’s uniform on a day-to-day basis. 
  • Ensuring that teachers understand this policy and what to do if a pupil is in breach of the policy. 
  • Listening to the opinions and wishes of the school community in regard to the school’s uniform and making appropriate recommendations to the governing board. 
  • Providing pupils with an exemption letter as appropriate, e.g. for a pupil who has a broken arm and requires a loose-fitting top. 

Staff members are responsible for: 

  • Ensuring that pupils dress in accordance with this policy at all times. 
  • Disciplining pupils who are in breach of this policy. 
  • Ensuring that pupils understand why having a consistent and practical school uniform is important, e.g. school identity. 

Parents are responsible for: 

  • Providing their children with the correct school uniform as detailed in this policy. 
  • Informing the headteacher if their child requires a more relaxed uniform policy for a period of time, including why. 
  • Ensuring that their child’s uniform is clean, presentable and the correct size. 

Pupils are responsible for: 

  • Wearing the correct uniform at all times, unless the headteacher has granted an exemption. 
  • Looking after their uniform as appropriate. 
  • Understanding and respecting why a school uniform is important to the school, e.g. school identity and community.

Cost principles 

The school is committed to ensuring that its school uniform is affordable and accessible to all pupils, and does not place an unreasonable financial burden on parents. 

In accordance with the ‘School Admissions Code’, the headteacher will ensure that the school’s uniform policy does not discourage parents from applying for a place for their child. 

The school will assess the overall cost implications of its uniform policy regularly, including prior to making any changes to the school uniform. When evaluating whether costs are reasonable and proportionate, the school will take into account the opinions and situations of:

  • Economically disadvantaged parents.
  • Parents with multiple children who are, or will be in the future, pupils at the school.
  • Parents of younger children, as they are likely to grow quickly and require new sets of uniform more frequently.
  • Parents of pupils with protected characteristics that may impact their ability to access the uniform due to costs.
  • LAC and PLAC.

The school has no variations in school uniform for different groups of pupils, e.g. year group-specific items or house colours, to a minimum where possible to ensure that pupils can get the most wear out of their uniform possible and that parents can pass some items down to younger siblings.

The school keeps branded uniform items to a minimal level that is reasonable for all members of the school community. The school defines a branded uniform item as any item of clothing that cannot be purchased at a range of retailers, including by virtue of logos, colours, design and fabrics. Where the school decides to require an item of branded clothing, it will conduct an assessment to ensure prices are kept as low as possible, e.g. by offering the option of plain clothing of appropriate colour, rather than specifying uniform to be fully branded.

The school is committed to meeting the DfE’s recommendations on costs and value for money. Every care is taken to ensure that our uniforms are affordable for all current and prospective pupils, and that the best value for money is secured through reputable suppliers.

The school will not amend uniform requirements regularly and will take the views of parents and pupils into account when considering any changes to school uniforms. 

Uniform Recycling Scheme

School Governors have implemented a uniform recycling scheme co-ordinated by parent governors. The scheme enables families to donate and receive school uniform, with the school cleaning and ensuring the quality of goods. Events will be held half termly for parents to utilise this service, they can also contact the school office at anytime to check what is available.

Equality principles

The school takes its legal obligation to avoid discriminating against any protected characteristic unlawfully very seriously, and aims to ensure that the uniform policy is as inclusive as possible so that all pupils are supported to access a school uniform which is comfortable, suitable for their needs, and reflects who they are. 

The school will work to ensure that school uniform’s cost does not disproportionately affect any pupils by ensuring that uniforms for all genders are as equal in price as possible and by adhering to the cost principles of the school.

The school will ensure that parents and pupils are consulted over any changes to school uniform, and that views and advice is sought specifically from pupils, and parents of pupils, who: 

  • Are transgender, including non-binary pupils.
  • Have SEND and/or sensory needs.
  • Are of a religious or cultural background that has dress requirements.

The school implements a gender-neutral uniform, meaning that pupils are not required to wear specific items based on their gender, and may wear any of the uniform items listed in the ‘School uniform’ section of this policy regardless of the legal sex recorded on the school’s records. Transgender pupils are supported to access the uniform that best reflects their gender expression in line with the LGBTQ+ Policy.

The school ensures that pupils who are required to follow certain dress requirements, e.g. by virtue of their membership of a particular religious or cultural group, are afforded flexibility to allow them to wear a uniform that adheres to their requirements as far as possible. The school endeavours to meet all requests for amendments to the uniform for these purposes; however, will ensure that the needs and rights of individual pupils are weighed against any health and safety concerns for the entire school community. 

Parents’ concerns and requests regarding religious clothing are dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the headteacher and governing board, and always in accordance with the school’s Complaints Procedures Policy. 

The school ensures that the needs of pupils with SEND and/or sensory difficulties are considered in the uniform policy, e.g. ensuring soft, stretchy fabrics and avoiding intricate buttons or hard seams; however, where the needs of these pupils cannot be met in the standard uniform policy, individual adaptations to the uniform will be considered and permitted wherever possible.  

School uniform supplier 

Our current school uniform supplier is:

  • Fantasy Prints
  • Units 1/2 Windmill Way West, Ramparts Business Park, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 1TB
  • Tel: 01289 303242

The governing board will ensure that a written contract is in place with the supplier for branded items. 

Where the school is proposing to change suppliers, it will reach out to suppliers by October in the determination year.  

Uniform assistance 

The school holds second-hand school uniforms in the school office for parents to access; access to these uniforms is available upon request made to the headteacher. Parents are invited to donate their child’s uniform when they no longer need it.

School uniform 

Our school colour is Bottle Green.

The school uniform is as follows: 

 

Item Optional or required Branding How to acquire Cost per item from school supplier
Regular school uniform
Green sweatshirt or green cardigan Required School logo or plain  Branded sweatshirt and cardigan available from Fantasy Prints Uniforms and second hand from school office. Red sweatshirt or cardigan can be bought from regular retailers.  £11-14.00
White polo shirt Required No branding Available from school supplier, second hand from school office and available from regular retailers.  £9-11.00
Grey or black trousers or grey skirt Required No branding Available from school supplier, second hand from school office and available from regular retailers. £8-15.00
Green chequered dress Optional No Branding Available from regular retailers and second hand from school office.
School socks Optional School logo Available from regular retailer N/A
Sensible, plain black shoes Required No branding Available from regular retailers. N/A
PE kit
Plain white t-shirt Optional No branding Available from regular retailers or second hand from school office. N/A
Plain green shorts Optional  No branding Available from school supplier, second hand from school office and available from regular retailers. £5-6.00
Sports footwear Required No branding Available from regular retailers. N/A
Accessories
School book bag Optional School logo Available from school supplier. £5.00

Pupils who are wearing skirts must also wear black/grey tights. 

Trainers are not considered suitable footwear. High heels are not permitted; however, block heels of no more than 3 cm can be worn.

Skirts must be knee-length. Black jeans are not permitted. 

Parents are responsible for ensuring their child brings their PE kit to school when needed. 

Jewellery 

Permitted jewellery that may be worn is:

  • One pair of stud earrings – no other piercings are permitted.
  • A smart and sensible wrist watch.

Jewellery is the responsibility of the pupil and not the school. Lost or damaged items will not be refunded. All jewellery must be removed during practical lessons, including PE lessons and swimming. 

School bag 

Pupils must use an appropriately sized waterproof bag to carry their books and equipment. 

School bags featuring inappropriate images, slogans or phrases are not permitted. 

The school encourages pupils to bring non-valuable bags to school. The school will not be liable for lost or damaged school bags. 

Hairstyles 

The school reserves the right to make a judgement on where pupils’ hairstyles or hair colours are inappropriate for the school environment; however, will ensure that any such judgements do not discriminate against any pupil by virtue of their protected characteristics. Each individual pupil’s scenario will be considered where any judgements on appropriateness are to be made, and parents will always have the freedom to complain via the school’s Complaints Procedures Policy.

Pupils with long hair must ensure that this does not impede their vision, cover their face or provide a health and safety risk. Long hair must be tied up during practical lessons, e.g. during PE. 

The following hairstyles are not considered appropriate for school: 

  • Brightly-coloured, dyed hair. 
  • Headwear with bold patterns or colours.
  • Excessive hair accessories.

Makeup

The school does not permit the use of make up; however, will ensure that any such judgements do not discriminate against any pupil by virtue of their protected characteristics.

Adverse weather 

All pupils are required to wear weather-appropriate clothing that covers as much of their skin as possible during adverse weather.

For hot temperatures, this includes wearing:

  • Loose-fitting and lightweight shirts and dresses with sleeves and collars or covered necklines.
  • Over the knee skirts, shorts or trousers.
  • Tops that cover the shoulder area. 
  • Sunglasses with UV protection when outside, where possible.

Pupils are advised not to wear any jumpers or blazers during heatwaves. If outside during break times, pupils not wearing sun-safe clothing are advised to stay in an area protected from the sun, or spare clothing is provided.

For cold temperatures, this includes wearing: 

  • Scarfs, gloves, coats and hats when they are outside. 
  • Warm jumpers that conform to the school’s uniform policy. 
  • Trousers, or thick tights with skirts.

Labelling 

All pupils’ clothing and footwear is clearly labelled with their name. 

Any lost clothing is be taken to the lost property box in the school office. All lost property is retained for one term and is disposed of if it is not collected within this time. 

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