School relaxes its dress code
Change of mind on sixth form dress
A GIRLS’ grammar school has revised its new dress code proposals after a parent and student outcry.
Dr Challoner’s High, in Cokes Lane, Little Chalfont had plans to enforce a formal uniform for its sixth formers from September. But parents and students rallied together and 763 people signed an online petition against the changes.
As a result, the school has loosened its new policy from tailored jacket and dress or trousers to any style except denim or leather clothing.
Parents Dr Robin Walters and Professor Alexandra BlakemoreWalters sent an open letter to the headteacher about the school uniform proposals after they were announced at the beginning of July.
Mrs Blakemore-Walters said: “It looks to me like there has been a significant change. There was the petition, the open letter and the newspaper article that all helped.
“It has been a good lesson for the girls in how to organise themselves to bring about change.”
She added: “The girls can wear similar to what they wear now, but there are stricter rules about denim, leather and slogans on T-shirts.”
One of the reasons that the parents and students were angry was that they feel they were not consulted by the school about the proposals.
In a letter to parents dated Tuesday, July 22, headteacher Ian Cooksey said as a consequence of feedback “we have sought to address some of the concerns about the clarity of our expectations by including greater specificity in our Uniform & Dress Code Policy
He added: “The decision to change the dress code for the sixth form has come in response to a great deal of parental, staff and student feedback over several years.
“During this time, we have considered a variety of options, including business dress, which is the norm for many school sixth forms. We believe we have settled on an approach which is less prescriptive than some other schools, but still ensures the girls are dressed in a smart fashion.
“I appreciate that there will not be unanimous approval of our approach; we are unlikely to please everyone on this issue.” AN ABBEY’S summer fair’s proceeds will go to a children’s cancer charity.
Missenden Abbey in Great Missenden will donate half the money raised by its fair and craft market to The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Fund.
The event attracted 1,000 visitors to 70 crafts and entertainment stalls, as well as music and demonstrations.
The founder of the cancer fund, Elaine Ball, said: “The highlight of the day for us was knowing that we had been chosen to benefit from the summer fair and craft market for a second year and once again seeing the generosity of the local community.
“We made £300 on our tombola stall alone, to add to the amount we will otherwise receive from the day. It was an amazing event and we would like to thank Missenden Abbey, the staff, stallholders and all those who gave their support on the day.
“Just looking around at the crowd and seeing the smiles and laughter confirmed that the event was a huge success.”
Mrs Ball set up the charity after her son Thomas died from cancer in 2003, when he was 14.
The marketing executive at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre, Katie Shrives, said: “A brilliant day was had by all and we were all so pleased to be able to once again support The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Fund.”
BRILLIANT DAY: and Trevor Ball
Jessica Levett of Missenden Abbey (left) with Thomas Ball’s parents, Elaine