An open letter to Gareth Morris, CEO Twynham Trust

I have been asked by a number of my ward residents to express concern about the way in which a new school uniform is being introduced for Stourfield Junior School, which is in my ward.

As you may be aware, this is featuring in the local newspaper, the Bournemouth Echo, in terms that do not reflect well on the Trust. The Echo reports a comment from the Trust, to the effect that you are complying with government guidance on the matter.

Government guidance explicitly states that in reviewing school uniform, parents should be consulted and their views taken into consideration. Could you please clarify what consultation has taken place, and what the response of parents was to that consultation.

Whilst the guidance requires schools to take into account the cost to parents of providing a new school uniform, it does not authorise schools to spend monies intended for educational purposes on the provision of school uniform to the entire cohort of children attending the school. Could you please clarify the basis on which this expenditure, as reported, is being made, to the detriment of other forms of essential provision.

Lastly, the uniform requirement includes a tie. Could you please clarify why this has been required, what purposes it serves, and what evidence there is that children of this age range being required to wear ties improves their academic performance.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cllr Jeff Hanna

West Southbourne