Dear Parents,

 

Changes to the Wyvern uniform

Thank you to those of you who have contributed to our surveys on changing the Wyvern College uniform. In the September parental survey you identified the need to improve the uniform as one of your top 5 priorities for the college. As a result of consultations with staff, students and parents, I’m now able to confirm the changes to Wyvern’s uniform and in this letter I also hope to address the questions and concerns that were most frequently expressed during the consultation process.

 

Why have we decided to change the uniform?

The changes are being introduced to improve the standard of uniform worn by our students, as requested by parents in the September parents’ survey and in line with parent, student and staff feedback from the consultation process. We want to ensure we have a cost effective, smart uniform that represents the high standards we uphold at Wyvern. We have listened carefully to parents who have expressed concerns over short skirts, tight trousers, as well as the mismatch of wearing polo shirts with blazers in a colour combination of navy blue and black with either light blue or red. The current trouser and skirt colour is black – a popular fashion colour – which has led to many students coming into college in unsuitable clothes that are expensive fashion items rather than practical, formal school wear. This has also led to peer pressure for others to wear such unsuitable clothing.There are currently some students taking too wide an interpretation of what constitutes acceptable black trousers or skirts and from my conversations with parents I know many of you have been frustrated that there is scope for uniform to be misinterpreted in this way.

 

Which students will be affected by the changes to uniform?

The new uniform will be phased in. Students currently in year 6 will wear the new uniform from September 2019 when they join Wyvern in year 7. Students currently in years 7 and 8 will wear it from September 2020 as they enter years 9 and 10 respectively. We have decided to phase in these changes to avoid parents facing sudden and unexpected expense. We are keen to ensure that the changes are implemented in a way which makes them affordable for families. We recognise that it isn’t cost effective to change uniform for those students who have a limited amount of time left at Wyvern. Therefore, students currently in years 9 and 10 won’t be required to change to the new uniform. We also appreciate that many of the students in years 7 and 8 won’t outgrow their current uniform for some time and that it would be wasteful to require them to change for this September. However, in response to many student requests, we have also decided that any student in any year group can choose to change to the complete full new uniform from September 2019 if they and their parents would like. This flexibility will also mean that as students currently in years 7 and 8 do outgrow their uniform, parents do not need to replace it like-for-like and then have to replace it again with the new uniform for September 2020. Year 6 students joining us this September in Year 7 will also be required to wear the new PE tops made of breathable fabric, but no current students will be required to change to this design.

 

Will the new uniform be cheaper or more expensive? We are now offering students four ways to combine different uniform items; the cost of the new uniform will therefore vary depending on which items students choose to combine. All students will be required to wear and tuck in a white shirt with either long or short sleeves, as well as a tie which is blue with narrow gold stripes; students can then combine this with either:

  • Darker grey full length, below the ankle tailored regular fit trousers with a Wyvern jumper
  • Darker grey full length, below the ankle tailored regular fit trousers with a Wyvern blazer
  • A Wyvern tartan skirt with a Wyvern jumper
  • A Wyvern tartan skirt with a Wyvern blazer
  • A Wyvern jumper can also be worn with the blazer

The most expensive item is the blazer (prices from £27.99) which is not being re-designed so it can continue to be used and handed down to younger siblings. However, as students outgrow their blazer, they can choose to wear the jumper instead. Individually, this is considerably cheaper than the blazer (prices from £13.75), though some parents may see the need for their child to have 2 which places costs on a par with the blazer. The jumper will also remain unchanged in design, again to avoid unnecessary expense.

 

The current polo shirts are expensive because they have the Wyvern logo on them and many students need 2 or 3 of these across a typical week. Our decision to replace these polo shirts with white shirts and ties has been made to smarten students’ appearance but this decision reduces a key uniform cost; multiple white shirts can be bought from supermarkets more cheaply (ASDA price for 3 from £5, Sainsbury’s price for 3 from £8) than the polo shirts (price for 3 from £26.97). The tie costs £4.35 and is available from Skoolkit. The price of the grey trousers will be on a par with black trousers because they will be available from supermarkets in the same way. The tartan skirt is more expensive (from £22.50) than the current black skirt but it is not compulsory and students can choose to wear the grey trousers instead. If tights are worn with the skirt, these will need to be black.

 

We appreciate that for some families, uniform has always been, and will continue to be, particularly expensive. For these families, we will continue to provide assistance in the same way that we do now, supplying individual items as needed and requested.

 

Will girls have to wear the new skirt? No, girls will be able to choose whether to wear the grey trousers which need to be full length, below the ankle tailored regular fit or the tartan skirt, with black tights. Both have been intentionally chosen to create a formal, rather than a fashionable, look. As in line with our existing uniform policy, fashion or tight fitting trousers, leggings/legging type or denim trousers will not be permitted.

 

Will there be a change in uniform for year 10 students who become prefects next year? Yes. In the past, prefects have needed to buy a new red Wyvern polo shirt; senior prefects have needed to buy white shirts to go with the red tie they have been presented with. Students currently in year 10 who will become prefects when the current year 11 leave, will all need to have white shirts, rather than the red polo shirt and purchase the new prefect ties, which are blue with wide gold stripes. The Senior prefect team, including Headboy and Headgirl, will have plain gold ties, which will be issued directly to them.

 

All prefects will be allowed to continue to wear their black skirts or trousers as the rest of their year group will, unless they choose to wear the new tartan skirt or grey trousers. In the past, only senior prefects have worn the shirt and red tie. However, one of the core responsibilities of all prefects is to set an example to younger students and their role often requires them to work alongside year 7 students in particular who will be wearing shirts and ties.

 

I hope that the advance notice of these changes will enable you to plan your future uniform purchases. The consultation process, conducted in accordance with Department for Education guidance, has shown widespread support for these changes. Consultations are not referendums and do not require a majority vote to approve the changes. Nevertheless, you might be interested to know that a large majority of parents and students did approve of the move to shirts and ties, of having a blue tie with gold stripes and of allowing choice between a blazer and a jumper. There was also a clear, though smaller, majority of both students and parents in favour of moving from black to grey. The decision about introducing a tartan skirt was evenly split with both groups.

 

Some parents expressed the view that we should retain the current uniform whilst others explained that they would want very different changes than those being proposed. As I hope you can appreciate, it is impossible to come up with a uniform which corresponds with everyone’s individual, personal preferences. We have, however, responded to parental requests for an improved uniform which is smarter without being more expensive.

 

Thank you in advance for your co-operation with uniform and your support for the standards we wish to uphold as a school.

 

Mr B Rule – Head teacher

 

 

Contact Wyvern

Wyvern College
Botley Road
Fair Oak
Eastleigh
Hampshire
SO50 7AN

 

Tel: 023 80692679

Fax: 023 80603215

Email: enquiries@wyvern.hants.sch.uk

 

Reception Opening Hours: 8:15am to 4:00pm

 

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