A school in Yorkshire gave all of its students free uniforms before the new school year, with the headmaster saying it was about “breaking down barriers”.
Before the new school year, every single student at the school receives a blazer, a sweater and a tie, as well as the necessary teaching equipment.
YorkshireLive announced earlier this year that students at Newsome Academy in Huddersfield will have access to free uniform, but Headmaster Dean Watkin announced the decision to go further this week to also give students a bag, pencil case, clipboard and other gear give.
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There are different colored ties for the uniform for each grade level and the students also have the choice of wearing a blazer, sweater or both, depending on their preference.
Mr Watkin said the school made the decision to save the families time, money and energy.
He said, “Obviously there is a discussion about the cost, and I totally agree that it is costly to buy uniforms.
“We want to do some really exciting things this year and it’s about breaking down those barriers.
“So we support our families and our community by paying these costs because we want the students to be successful.
“We save time and energy and make direct progress with 21st century learning.”
Mr Watkin added that another important factor in the decision was to ensure that students have choices about what to wear in school.
“There are often national debates about uniforms and their costs, but also about the lack of options,” he said.
“We provided the families with a sweater and a blazer. Students can wear both, just the blazer or just the sweater. With Covid and ventilation we want to ensure that the students are warm. “
“It was very well received because they have the freedom to choose which items to wear.”
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Mr Watkin said the parents reacted very positively to the move.
“Most of all, people said it saved us a lot of trouble and a lot of money,” he said.
“I had a conversation with a parent via email and they rightly mentioned that it will reduce potential bullying problems as students no longer have different items that may or may not attract attention for various reasons.”
When asked how the school funded the gesture, Watkin said, “We made various changes and updated the funding agreement, which means we can now put that money back into the community again, which is what we’re trying to do.”
Each student has also been given a clipboard as the school is starting to introduce university-style morning seminars.
The move coincides with a new £ 5 million investment in Newsome Academy.
The money approved by the Department of Education will go to new classrooms, state-of-the-art WiFi, and more.
Extensive construction work is to be carried out at the school throughout the year. “We look forward to introducing some really quirky and cutting-edge facilities for students,” said Watkin.
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