Compulsory logo's on school uniform?

Wayne Pearsall made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

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Waiting for an internal review by Department for Education of their handling of this request.

Dear Department for Education,

There are a growing number of schools which are making it compulsory to wear uniform with a school logo. EG: http://www.fernwoodschool.org.uk/parents...
(NOTE: 2 sets of shorts for boys with logo) but many schools are following suit.

Can you please confirm whether a school can legally enforce this Point of View. Afterall, a uniform is just a school policy. A requirement to provide a child with an education is a legal requirement. and legal requirements are given the force of law.

I ask as numerous school are currently sending pupils home for "incorrect" uniform (missing logo, slight deviation of styles etc).

Please provide any guidance you have on the matter.

I would be happy with a formal written confirmation that a state funded school cannot legally enforce a strict uniform policy to require logo's etc on uniform.
(FYI: there are many laws relating to monopolies etc, and a school being the sole producer etc... - extorting money from parents with extortionate prices.)

(NOTE: I do not raise an issue with "uniform" in general, IE: Smart black trousers, shoes, white shirt... my issue on this is relating to requirement for a set logo etc on shorts ETC.)

Yours faithfully,

W Pearsall

Department for Education

Dear Mr Pearsall,

Thank you for your email dated 6th September regarding school uniform.

School governing bodies (or academy trusts) are responsible for deciding whether there should be a school uniform policy, which includes how the uniform should be sourced. The department issues non-statutory guidance on school uniform which highlights the need for schools to keep the cost of uniform to a minimum.

The guidance sets out that governing bodies (or academy trusts) should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers. It also makes clear that compulsory branded items should be kept to a minimum and that schools should avoid specifying expensive items of clothing.

The guidance is clear that schools can discipline pupils for breaching the school’s rules on appearance or uniform and that this should be carried out in accordance with their published behaviour policy. A head teacher, or a person authorised by the head teacher, may ask a pupil to go home briefly to remedy such a breach. We advise schools to consider the child’s age and vulnerability, the ease and time it will take, and the availability of the child’s parents when making this decision and the parent’s child should be notified.

The school uniform guidance is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/schoo...<http://www.gov.uk/government/publication...>

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2016-0041290. If you need to respond to us, please visit: https://www.education.gov.uk/contactus and quote your reference number.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at: https://www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey.

Yours sincerely

Caroline DAWE 

Web: https://www.education.gov.uk<https://www.education.gov.uk/>
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

[https://www.education.gov.uk/images2/iri...

Dear Department for Education,

I don't think your response has actually answered my query. As you are aware, a school has a legal obligation to provide an education. This obligation overrides any policy on uniform as no child has a legal obligation to wear a uniform...

So please review your response. And actually search for information you store.

Yours faithfully,

Wayne Pearsall

Department for Education

Thank you for your message. Please note that from 1st October 2016 this email address is changing to [DfE request email]

Department for Education

Dear Mr Pearsall,

Thank you for your email dated 26th September. I would be really grateful if you could clarify what information you require.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2016-0045087. If you need to respond to us, please visit: https://www.education.gov.uk/contactus and quote your reference number.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at: https://www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Dawe 

Web: https://www.education.gov.uk<https://www.education.gov.uk/>
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

[https://www.education.gov.uk/images2/iri...

Rachel left an annotation ()

Did Wayne ever get to the bottom of the legalities on school uniform?..

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

The importance of cost consideration
The School Admissions Code 2012, which is statutory guidance, states “Admission
authorities must ensure that […] policies around school uniform or school trips do not
discourage parents from applying for a place for their child.” No school uniform should be
so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a
school of their choice, due to the cost of the uniform. School governing bodies should
therefore give high priority to cost considerations. The governing body should be able to
demonstrate how best value has been achieved and keep the cost of supplying the
uniform under review.
When considering how the school uniform should be sourced, governing bodies should
give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. The
school uniform should be easily available for parents to purchase and schools should
seek to select items that can be purchased cheaply, for example in a supermarket or
other good value shop. Schools should keep compulsory branded items to a minimum
and avoid specifying expensive items of uniform eg expensive outdoor coats.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

That in itself would put most school policies on an illegal footing... As most school uniforms are now expensive than similar from supermarkets (aldi trousers for my 5yo are 1.25. Asda about a fiver. Most school sourcing 20 quid plus....

Note the following also from the guidance :

The dfe advise insurance cover to cover challenges about the uniform policies... Policy is not am overriding factor to law...

The school is legally and lawfully obliged to educate a child. They can't refuse to simply because a parent refuses to waste their money on a uniform...

This would be an unlawful punishment to a child for actions that aren't their own.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Also note that when a school excludes a pupil from education they have a lawful obligation to follow a set procedure. Many of these uniform exclusions fail to do this.

David Adcock left an annotation ()

Mr Pearsall’s request was very simple, and boilled down to:

Can you please confirm whether a school can legally enforce (student to wear uniform with a school logo).

The response dodged the question somewhat, what law allows a school to refuse to educate a child based on adherence to a school uniform?

Lizz left an annotation ()

I realise this is quite an old thread but did you get anywhere with your request / an answer to whether or not there is anything that can legally force me to have to buy brand specified uniform for my son? Thanks

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Hey ya lizz.

There's nothing in law that requires you to do so. A child can only be punished for their actions. Not actions of a parent. Write a letter to the school clearly stating you refuse to waste money on a £40 jumper when you can buy the same one for a fiver in asda minus the logo.

They rely on the "discipline a child" route to enforce the policy. Law says they have to educate and when suspending have to follow a legal procedure. They can't just send home as they do

Lizz left an annotation ()

Thanks Wayne - I sought legal advice this morning which confirmed that I cannot be made to either buy the specified uniform or made to force my child to wear it. My son has been isolated for the past week and this week moved to 'inclusion support' where supposedly he is receiving appropriate work. Legally, they say I should argue that inclusion support is just another form of isolation and that this should only be used when reasonable and for as short a time as possible. He is in year 10 working towards GCSEs and is a competent student - he doesn't appear to be being provided with adequate work tailored for his age and ability. The legal advisor says I need to follow my complaint through the academy's full procedure and can then escalate this to the LA and ESFA. I need to make it clear to the school that I have not agreed to a limited timetable. I need to demonstrate that their policy is not working. Looks like I'm fighting a long battle! Thanks again for your help.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Sadly that's what they aim for. Make any complaint as complex and hard as possible. They know it can take years.... Regardless of what they say.... They don't care about children. Just creating obedient servants who won't question any form of authority.

Don't drop it. And contact the DfE.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

I've revisited this issue, andd there has been a costs consultation which is linked in my new request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Varunb82 left an annotation ()

I just bought a very expensive blazer for my son which I am sure will last for only couple of month.

I am actually enthused to start a school uniform business so that parents will have cheaper options but guess what, my son's school website says you can buy uniform from a particular vendor only. Is this really a democracy we're living in? To my surprise, the blazer I bought has been patented and its got the patent number on the label! So what does that mean, if I sell exactly same blazer for 50% the price, I will be sued??? Insane. Who are the losers?? Hardworking parents. You can't buy cheaper uniforms. You can't take cheaper holidays....anything left???

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

See my updated request. The competition and markets authority agree and earned schools of this...
Formal complaint should be filed :)