A primary school has swapped school uniforms for tracksuits – is it acceptable?

A primary school has swapped school uniforms for tracksuits – is it acceptable?
The new uniform at Telford's Junior School in Leamington Spa. (Photo: School Shop Sales)

Teachers at a primary school have replaced traditional school uniforms with tracksuits, in a move that prompted mixed reactions from parents.

Introduced to inspire a more ‘active’ curriculum, around 40 per cent of parents of children at Telford Junior School in Leamington Spa originally objected to the change in clothing.

Some of the children have already started wearing the new uniform, and both the school and parents have said that the children generally like the tracksuits.

The new uniform includes a zip up tracksuit top and tracksuit bottoms.

School consulted the pupils

A school newsletter said that plans for a hoodie had been dropped after consultation, but the new tracksuits were approved by two-thirds of the pupils.

The new uniform at Telford’s Primary School in Leamington Spa (Photo: School Shop Sales)

The story initially made the news in October, when the school community was asked to provide feedback on the new uniform for the school’s 350 seven to 11 year olds.

One parent, Teresa Huggins, told the BBC, “When you first hear the words ‘tracksuits for uniforms’ you think they’re going to be ‘chavvy’ and ‘tacky’ but they are far from that… my two sons love them.”

However, others felt that the new uniforms were not smart enough, and some raised concerns about the cost of buying them when the old ones were still fit for purpose.

One mum said the uniform change could negatively impact on the mindset of the children while they were at school.

The concerned parents said, “I could understand the children going to school in games kits on days they had sports but to be wearing it every day I think will put the children in a different mindset towards school.”

Mixed reactions from parents

A number of families have pointed out the increased expense, with the branded items starting at £8.95 from the school’s uniform shop.

Some parents also raised concerns that the uniforms would be used for PE as well as a daily mile, and that the children would be sitting in lessons in the same clothes they had done games in.

When the change was initially proposed in October, head teacher Richard Siviter wrote to parents.

He said the change, and the fact that the uniform can be used for classes and games, “simplifies the school uniform and reduces costs to families.”

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