Coventry & Warwickshire

Leamington school sportswear uniform introduced

A pupil in uniform Image copyright Teresa Huggins
Image caption Jordan, seven, is one of a number of pupils already wearing the new uniform

A school has replaced a traditional uniform with sportswear and trainers, prompting mixed opinions from parents.

Objections were originally raised by nearly 40% of families - about 135 parents - to the plans at Telford Junior School in Leamington Spa.

The head teacher said the new uniform, which many pupils have started wearing, would serve a more "active" curriculum.

Some parents said they were concerned about extra cost but others said it was "smart" and children liked it.

The story made headlines in October when the school community was asked for views on a new uniform for the 350 pupils, aged from seven to 11.

Plans for a "hoodie" were dropped after consultation, but governors agreed the move to sportswear after two-thirds of pupils said they were in favour.

"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," said parent Teresa Huggins.

Image copyright Telford School
Image caption The new uniform promotes an "active curriculum", says head teacher Richard Siviter

But another mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, disagreed.

"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 mind set towards school," she said.

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

Danielle Lenton said although the cost was "notable", she thought the concept was great.

"Personally I will purchase it for my year 5 pupil for his last year and hand this down to my year 3 pupil for when she needs it as it's mostly unisex," said Miss Lenton.

Image copyright Telford School
Image caption The new uniform includes tracksuit, sports t-shirts, leggings, shorts, skorts and trainers.

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Parents also raised concerns about the children, who participate in active lessons and a Daily Mile, "sitting around in smelly clothes" after games lessons.

Head teacher Richard Siviter said PE would take place in the afternoons and underlined the school's flexible approach in allowing the uniform to be bought in stages.

"We feel on balance that it was worth doing and there's been a very positive response from the children," he said.

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