It might feel like the final bell only just rang, but the new school year is just around the corner.
And for many parents of primary students, that means time to start thinking about new uniforms.
An Inverness church is stepping up to make the process as easy and affordable as possible with a school uniform drive.
Inverness Vineyard Church is organizing a school uniform donation drive, to help connect families heading into the new year with good condition, ‘pre-loved’ uniforms.
They are accepting donations for primary schools around the Inverness area: Raigmore, Drakies, Milton of Leys, Inshes and Crown.
If you want to donate, you can contact the church directly to arrange a pick-up or drop-off. Or, school uniform Santas can drop off eligible gear at an in-person event on Saturday morning.
Battling the dress code blues
Crayons, glue sticks and colored pencils are staples of the back-to-school shopping list. But many families across the north and north east attend schools where jumpers, skirts, trousers and even the odd blazer are considered necessities.
And shelling out for uniforms, especially for primary children who might seem to grow one or two sizes every weekend, isn’t something every family can afford.
But donation drives like the one organized by Inverness Vineyard can help parents cut costs and reduce waste by reusing unwanted or unneeded uniforms.
To arrange a drop-off at a specific date, email the church team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The church is also hosting a collection event Saturday, 24 July at 10:30 am. You can take used uniforms in good condition to Raigmore Community Center to make a donation.
Same clothes, different opinions
The subject of school uniforms has become a topic for debate across the north and north east in recent months.
Press and Journal readers chimed in on a controversy at Oban High School, where parents have demanded a review of the uniform policy.
More than 85% of readers polled said that they felt the school was taking the wrong approach by making girls wear tights, even on hot days.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville even addressed the issue as part of an exclusive interview with the Press and Journal. Although she declined to take a stance on the Oban situation, she said that specific uniform matters are best handled locally.
But she added that the government is working on national uniform guidance for local authorities.
“There always has to be room for schools to develop policies at a local level.
“We are working with local authorities to develop national guidance on school uniforms within the lifetime of this parliament and so that work will be under way.
“It will look at things like the cost of uniforms to ensure there are no challenges for families being able to afford parts of uniforms that might be expensive.”