School uniforms is an issue that directly affects parents. Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has launched a 12-week consultation to ask stakeholders, including parents, for their views on uniforms. The consultation seeks ideas on making uniforms more affordable, available, gender-neutral and, in extreme weather conditions, flexible.
Our Annual Parent Survey has shown that 69% of parents in Wales want a say on their child’s education at government level but only 21% of Welsh parents feel the government listens to what they want for their child’s education.
This consultation is a great opportunity for parent voice to be heard on an important topic.
How does Kirsty Williams say parents can get involved?
Parentkind had the opportunity to put some questions to the Education Secretary ahead of the consultation launch. Check out the videos below to see her responses.
1. How can parents be sure their views are taken into account in this Welsh Government consultation?
2. What can school governors and school leaders do to ensure they are listening to parent voice and are taking their views into account when setting school policies such as those on school uniforms?
3. What other ways can parents get involved with policy makers?
4. Do you have any advice on how parents can be more involved with their child’s school?
What may change?
Government guidance for schools will suggest a more consistent approach when school governing bodies set the uniform and appearance policy. They would be expected to consider ways of keeping down the costs by initiatives such as setting basic items and colours rather than styles, and reducing the necessity of school logos or making them more accessible and easier to attach to clothing. This will make school uniforms more affordable for parents.
They will be asked to consider whether there is a need for different uniforms or a flexibility of approach for summer and winter, to allow for pupil comfort in very hot or very cold weather conditions.
Governing bodies will also be required to think about equality issues such as discrimination on the grounds of race or religious belief, disability and sex and gender identity. This will mean ensuring provision for gender-neutral school uniform items to accommodate pupils who may be undergoing gender reassignment.
Have your say
For parents wishing to respond to the consultation, see Welsh Government.