How can this school get away with this rip-off?

Comprehensive defends new school uniform costing nearly £100 | Education | The Guardian

On the subject of Portsmouth, one imagines that you will not find much overlap between the riders on the new London-to-Portsmouth Greyhound I mentioned in my last entry and the clientele at this state comprehensive school in the outlying Hampshire town of Waterlooville. Oaklands Catholic school has introduced a uniform, which will be compulsory for first years in the coming term and for everyone the September after, which for girls will cost as much as £97, consisting of a bespoke skirt and a blazer made of recycled plastic bottles (nice). The male uniform will be cheaper as the trousers can be bought elsewhere.

The school is using the excuse that the uniform needed changing as it’s supposedly dated, and Catholic girls’ uniforms often look rather fetching and feminine, but that’s just my rather old-fashioned opinion (two of my cousins went to one such school and hated the uniform), but what is the sense of introducing a new bespoke uniform in the middle of one of the most severe recessions in living memory? For that matter, why have a bespoke uniform ever, since they are always more expensive than generic uniforms as they have a tiny production run? State schools are meant to be for everyone, not just those who can afford to throw money down the drain like this. Why do state schools persist in acting as if they were private charitable foundations, when they are not private and not particularly charitable, and why does the government allow them to carry on doing this? One parent described it as looking “like a private school uniform, but not as comfortable”.

One would hope that this ridiculous scheme would be struck down by a parental rebellion, and if not that, then by a sex discrimination lawsuit.

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