Parents in Gedling ‘angry’ over primary school uniform change at ‘difficult time’

A letter has been emailed to parents and guardians by the school detailing the change, as well as other aspects such as the school structure for the coming academic year

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Parents and carers of children attending Stanhope Primary School in Gedling have recently been informed about a change of colour in the school’s uniform.

A letter has been emailed to parents and guardians by the school detailing the change, as well as other aspects such as the school structure for the coming academic year, nursery consultation, and gate times.

The uniform, which is currently red, will change to navy or dark green at the start of the Autumn term.

Parents can vote on the colour they most prefer from today (June 13) and will be informed of the final decision on Wednesday.

However, they have criticised this decision, questioning the timing of the change, amid rising concerns regarding the soaring of the cost of living.

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Ben Hemstock, whose two daughters, aged seven and nine, both attend Stanhope revealed he has voiced his concerns to the school’s headteacher.

He said: “The current economic climate has seen families in significant financial difficulties.

“With food bank use on the rise all over the country, cost of petrol and diesel going up week on week, it’s difficult for everyone at the moment.

“Changing the colour of the uniform seems like a needless exercise in a time when none of us need the extra expense.

“Whilst it may seem a trivial amount to many people, £50-60 per child for jumpers, dresses, and tights is an extra money most cannot afford.

“I’ve spoken to several parents who have already bought uniform in the red colours and now have to hope they can return them.

“The other consideration is that siblings often pass uniform down to the younger ones.

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“Clearly this won’t be possible for this year.

“I have contacted the head teacher and voiced my concerns.

“I hope that she listens to parents and understands the potential difficulties this will put onto parents.

“The odd thing is that there’s been no real reason given as to why the change is happening.

“The learning environment is developed by the skills of the teachers and pupils, not by what colour uniform the children wear.”

Another father-of-two, Matthew Winterburn, has echoed a similar opinion.

He said: “I have two children that go there, and many parents are not happy as they, as well as everyone else, are finding it hard to live day to day with rising bills.

“They don’t know where they’re going to find the money to buy all new uniforms, especially as many people pass second hand around.”

Kelly-Anne Mason, whose child is a Year 5 pupil at the school, is also disappointed with the decision.

She said: “I think it’s a bad decision from the head teacher.

“Red has been Stanhope’s identity since the day it opened.

“Also, with the cost of living going up and many people struggling, it is very poorly times.

“No thought has been put into it.”

Amanda Richards, Stanhope Primary School’s headteacher, revealed that the decision was taken at this time of the year as families are about to purchase new uniforms ready for the start of the Autumn term.

She added: “To reflect the natural, warm and friendly environment we have been working so hard to create in school, we will be changing the colour of our school uniform.

“We will keep the majority of the uniform the same e.g. trousers, skirts, PE kit etc but we will be changing the colour of the sweatshirt / cardigan / jumper/ summer dress.

“As is the case at the moment, there will be no requirement to have a school logo on the uniform and we will ensure that all parts of the uniform are available for purchase from the main supermarkets.”

Gedling Eye approached the school for a comment.

Headteacher Amanda Richards said: “We are currently in consultation with our parents regarding school uniform.

“Parents opinions are being sought over changing the colour or keeping the uniform the same.

“Our consultation period closes tomorrow.”

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