My kids' school is expecting us to fork out £80 for uniform, I wasn't expecting it – it feels tone deaf

PARENTS are fuming after their children's school hiked uniform prices to more than £80.

Homewood, an academy in Tenterden, Kent, this week told families that its 2,000 pupils must wear "expensive" branded items come September.


Instead of plain black trousers or a formal knee-length skirt, students will be required to go to class in items brandishing the school's logo.

The "tone deaf" order was met with outrage, with many mums and dads insisting they simply can't afford the new garb, KentOnline reports.

One described the move as "completely unnecessary" and "a change for change's sake".

She added: "It means that from next year parents will only be able to buy skirts or trousers with the logo on it, which will be far more expensive than being able to shop around for suitable plain versions."

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Headteacher Jeremy Single attempted to mitigate the impact on hard-up families by insisting all students in years seven to nine will receive a free blazer, tie and either a pair of trousers or a skirt, worth £57.40.

But several parents said that was simply not enough as most children need several pairs a week.

One asked: "What happens when a child falls over and gets a hole in their trousers?

"Under this year's uniform we'll be able to replace them cheaply, but next year we will have to get things at a much higher cost."

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Another said: "To get one is great, but that won't last a pre-teen for the whole week.

"There is a cost to it that I wasn't expecting at this time.

"It's not a good time to do this, it feels tone deaf to what's going on in the world.

"I know a lot of other parents are relying on uniforms to pass down and while that can still be the case for some of them, for many that won't happen now."

Some also feel the introduction of the new uniforms goes against the Education (Guidance About Costs of School Uniform) Act 2021 which requires branded items to be kept to a minimum and uniforms to be "affordable" to all.

A Homewood spokesperson said: "The school consulted widely on its plans to update its uniform, including a request for comments which was sent to the parents of every child in the school.

"A total of more than 350 responses were received, but we note that some of those who have since complained about the proposed changes are among those who did not take the opportunity to respond at the time.

"The new uniform, which includes the PE kit, is in line with the latest Department for Education guidance.

"Our letter to parents explains the school’s reasons for the changes and makes it very clear that there are no additional branded items but the same number as in the current uniform: the branded polo shirt being replaced by the branded trouser/skirt.

"In addition, every student in current years seven to nine will receive a free blazer, tie and either a pair of trousers or a skirt, valuing on average £57.40.

"Parents will therefore need to spend on average £25.95 if they choose to purchase a second pair of trousers/skirt from the school shop and a pack of two shirts from an alternative retail outlet.

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"As is the case currently, if any parent is having difficulty paying for the uniform, then they have been advised to contact their College Office.

"We respect everyone’s views within our school community but, and as a very large school, we do not expect to be able to please everyone with every decision made."

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