Impington Village College has always prided itself on its foundation as a school at the heart of its community. We believe strongly in working closely with parents and students (our families) to ensure our provision and practice is the very best it can be. We listen closely to your views and whilst may not always agree, we do respond! You may recall that we recently reviewed the code relating to uniform. We consulted widely, inviting views from parents, prospective parents, staff and students. From the feedback it was clear that only a very small minority of any group favoured a move to a more formal uniform. The students were equality divided between no uniform and amendments to the present uniform whilst staff and parents favoured keeping a uniform.
When we looked at suggestions for amendments to the uniform the main problem was our insistence on tailored trousers, especially for the girls. Many parents believed that they were being supportive of the College by buying trousers from the 'Back to School' ranges in high street shops. Most of these trousers, however, are not tailored but are promoted as being school wear.
As a result, the following decisions were made and have been approved by the Governing Body:
• Students may wear any style full-length black trousers and the insistence of their being tailored will be dropped. As a result, any plain, full-length black trousers will be acceptable for the trial period and this will include black jeans.
• Students may also wear plain black trainers instead of shoes but, they must be completely plain (with no coloured sports insignia, for example).
• Governors were insistent that sandals/open-toed shoes should not be allowed for reasons of health and safety.
• You may also remember that some students had requested that shorts be permitted in the summer months. In the survey, not surprisingly, that was still popular and, indeed, was also reasonably popular with parents.
After extensive discussions we have decided to have a pilot of these proposed changes. This will take place in the second half of this term. Should students wish, they will be able to wear black shorts, along with their uniform top. We wish to emphasise, particularly for the girls, that the shorts must be modest and appropriate. 'Hot-pants' style shorts will not be permitted and students not abiding by this will be required to change or they will be sent home to change.
We see this pilot scheme as part of our ongoing work on Student Engagement, which has brought us working closely with other local schools and the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University. We are particularly keen to see if acting on the students' requests has a positive impact on the climate for learning. Clearly, if it does not then this amendment to the uniform code will not be allowed next year.
Of course, many of our students who came to the College from across Europe have never worn uniform at all and they appear to have come through their school systems with flying colours so we are very hopeful that the experience will be a positive one. We are aware that no one proposal will suit everyone but we would like to re-assure you that we have thought long and hard about this and we are really keen to assess the impact.
We look forward to your support and would encourage you to contact us during the pilot for your further feedback.