SOUTH Bromsgrove High School has defended the cost of its new uniform which will be worn by year nine pupils from September.
Angry parents hit out over the cost after it was revealed they would need to spend around £155 for one set of compulsory items of clothing.
One mum Jo said: “It’s discrimination against low income families.
“What will the consequences be to my son, should he not be in correct uniform – if I can’t afford these private school prices?”
A newsletter sent out to parents said pupils would be sent home if they were not wearing the correct uniform at all times, which can only be purchased from S&H Schoolwear.
But headteacher Chris Smith, who said the school was only trying to ‘raise pupil standards’, has met with parent Sarah Bond in a bid to reach a compromise following the backlash.
Sarah said: “He has agreed to find a second uniform supplier or find more suitable, cheaper trouser and skirt items by October half-term.
“This is to make sure parents have more choice and to ensure healthy pricing competition.”
S&H Schoolwear, based on Church Street, also stocks North Bromsgrove High School’s uniform for similar prices.
South’s uniform, compulsory for new starters, will now have the school’s logo embedded on girls’ skirts and boys’ trousers – priced at £19.99 each.
A suit jacket will set parents back £37.99, a polo shirt £16.99, rugby tops £21.99, P.E skorts £19.99 and PE socks £7.99.
Following Ms Bond’s meeting with Mr Smith, the school confirmed it does not receive any cash from its current supplier through its uniform deal.
Mr Smith also agreed to consider a parent consultative board for any other policy changes which directly impacted on family budgets.
S&H Schoolwear do have a ‘put by scheme’ where a £10 deposit can be submitted and the balance paid off when parents are ready to collect the uniform.
Mr Smith added: “When making the decision originally, we considered research by charity ‘The Children’s Society’.
“In 2018 it calculated the average cost of school uniform in the UK school is £340.
“The cost of our uniform, including PE kit, is around £156.
“It should be noted the school has always supported parents in challenging financial circumstances.”
This was also one of the stories we chatted about during this week’s Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard Podcast –
Parents who are concerned about not being able to afford the new uniform are asked to contact the school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org