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Oban school uniform group urge input into national consultation

Councillor Julie McKenzie and Oban High School.
Councillor Julie McKenzie and Oban High School.

Parents in Oban are urging others to take part in a Scottish Government consultation into school uniforms.

Oban High School Uniform Reform Group claimed the consultation was a massive step forward to achieve its aims of less “stringent” rules around what children wear to school.

In a joint statement on behalf of Oban High School Uniform Reform Group and Councillor Julie McKenzie, who represents Oban North and Lorn, they welcomed a national discussion on the issue.

Concerns have previously been raised at the school about girls not wearing tights even as temperatures soared. 

Oban’s issues under a national spotlight

The statement said: “Following a successful local campaign from parents, pupils and an Argyll and Bute SNP councillor, which brought school uniform issues under the national spotlight and stringent uniform enforcement practices at Oban High School to an end, yesterday’s announcement from the education secretary, of a Scotland wide consultation on school uniform, has been welcomed by all involved.

It continued: “The consultation seeks the views of pupils, parents, and carers as the Scottish Government moves to bring forward updated national guidance on school uniform.

“This will aim to address issues of inequality, reduce the burden of cost and ensure children are comfortable.”

A spokeswoman for Oban High School Uniform Reform Group said: “As a small parent-led group, we have fought hard to have the concerns of parents and pupils raised and heard by our local high school and Argyll and Bute Council, during our school uniform campaign.

“Therefore, we are elated that the Scottish Government has now produced a consultation looking into this topic at a national level.

“As we’ve directly experienced, not all schools recognise the need for a more flexible and equitable uniform policy.

“Hopefully this national consultation will help improve this and bring forward the changes which we all wish to see.”

‘Bringing the voice of the pupils’

Councillor McKenzie said: “From the campaign inception we sought to bring the voice of local pupils to the fore on this issue.

“It just goes to show you what a group of young people and families in a small west coast town like Oban can achieve by working together, when it comes to influencing policy at community and national level.”

The Scottish Government said it was not intended that the school uniform items will be mandated at national levels.

A spokesman said: “Instead it is intended that the national guidance will inform local authorities and schools policies.”

Parents demand review of school uniform policy as poll finds 65% of pupils have been subjected to ‘unreasonable enforcement’

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