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‘A sense of normality’ - school uniform suppliers busy as usual ahead of new term

PUBLISHED: 06:30 27 August 2020

School ties at the Stevensons School Outfitters shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

School ties at the Stevensons School Outfitters shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Schools that relaxed strict uniform requirements amid the coronavirus lockdown will expect pupils back in blazers and ties from September, as suppliers see the usual pre-term rush.

The closure - except for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils - saw some Norfolk schools continue to strictly adhere to uniform rules, while others suspended policies to allow students to wear their own clothes.

However following guidance from the Department for Education that clothes do not need to be washed more often than usual, schools have set out a return to normality when pupils return from September 7.

MORE: ‘Back to school’ campaign launched to encourage children into classrooms

Uniform suppliers including Birds of Dereham, Stevensons in Norwich and Lowestoft-based Screens said they had seen normal levels of demand and were currently in their busiest period of the year, with hundreds of children trying on blazers, shirts and ties.

Schools will return to strict uniform for pupils from September. Picture: Ormiston Academies TrustSchools will return to strict uniform for pupils from September. Picture: Ormiston Academies Trust

Caister Academy was among the schools that allowed pupils to ditch uniforms, while at Stalham and Sheringham High Schools students were discouraged from wearing uniform, even if that was their preference.

Andrew Richardson, head at Sheringham, executive head at Stalham and North Norfolk Academy Trust chief executive, said they had moved away from uniform once schools closed on March 23.

He said doing anything else had not been “not practical and safe”. However they have all now reinstated normal uniforms from September.

School uniforms at Stevensons School Outfitters shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSchool uniforms at Stevensons School Outfitters shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sheringham High School said: “The expectation will be that all of our students should be in full school uniform and footwear when the school reopens in September, and comply with the expectations and standards set out for hair and jewellery.”

MORE: What Norfolk schools will be like in September

One change will be allowed however, where students with PE lessons will be allowed to stay in “appropriate PE kit” for the whole of that day in order to relieve pressure on changing room facilities.

Matthew Easter, co-chair of the Schoolwear Association, said: “We have seen some schools relax uniform policies with reduced class sizes. However, headteachers know the positive impact a sensible school uniform policy has on pupils, teachers and parents.

“School uniform is a vital aspect of day-to-day life for pupils and ensuring that children return to the classroom in their regular uniform will help to restore routine and a sense of normality following months of home learning.”


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