Parents hail 'victory for people power' over Doncaster school uniform row

Ash Hill Academy.
Ash Hill Academy.
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Parents are hailing a victory for 'people power' after a school is understood to have scrapped an unpopular uniform policy following complaints.

Mums and dads of children who attend Ash Hill Academy in Hatfield, Doncaster, used to be able to buy their kids' uniforms from any supermarket or clothes shop so long as it met the dress code.

The message sent to out parents.

The message sent to out parents.

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But they claim the school sent out letters over the summer stating they must now buy uniforms and PE kits from a single supplier for their children for the start of the forthcoming academic year in September.

The move sparked protests as some parents claimed the new uniforms they were being asked to buy were too costly and not as good quality.

They were also angry because the new supplier - SPT Uniforms - is based near Leeds, meaning parents faced a trek of almost 30 miles to the shop.

More than 100 people signed an online petition calling for the school to scrap the new edict - and it appears their efforts have paid off as the schools has relaxed its policy on where uniforms can be bought from.

In a text message sent out to parents on Friday evening, principal John Higgins said: "Due to parental feedback regarding uniform, the following changes will be applied from September 1:- Students are required to wear blazer, tie, PE top branded with academy logo

"All other uniform is non-branded, generic school uniform from any supplier."

Mum Tammy Haver claimed it would have cost almost double to pay for uniforms and PE kits for her two 13-year-old daughters.

But she today welcomed the school's decision to adjust their policy.

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The 45-year-old, of Dunscroft, said: "It is a victory for people power. There are some families struggling financially and it wasn't fair.

"We needed to stick together and we managed to get something done."

However, she said she still wasn't happy about the clothing available from SPT Uniforms and described how they "bobble too easily."

Ms Haver also explained how parents would have to fork out "petrol money or train tickets" to go and purchase items from the shop in person.

There has also been reports of customers receiving the wrong orders when purchasing items online.

A spokesperson for SPT Uniforms said their blazers are actually £4 cheaper than the previous supplier and claimed that "with additional savings though out the full uniform we have saved families money."

They urged customers with problems with their orders to contact the shop and stressed there has been "no response from any customers regarding ‘bobbling’."

With regards to online orders, they said: "If a customer has a picking issue then they need to contact us. We can replace any item incorrectly sent.

"We do apologise for any picking errors and we wish to quickly resolve any of these issues."

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The spokesperson also tackled the distance issue and said they have organsed three pop-up shops in Doncaster which "were all great successes."

The school is a member of the Delta Academies Trust. They have been asked for comment and we are awaiting a reply.