School Uniform – are the mad?

This is a cross-post with Julia’s Place as it is a subject pertinent to both sites.

Apart from the occasional request from my son for a pair of ‘school shoes’ for a birthday present, I am not the mother of a school aged child ( he is 36 & a deputy head!). As a retired head teacher though I know a great deal about school uniform.
Personally, I’m in favour of it. I think it helps children feel part of the school and takes away lots of jealousies that ‘muffty’ can generate. Anyway, this post is not about the rights and wrongs of it. This rant (yes, I’m going to have a little foot stamp) is about the large displays that are in the stores for school uniform.
When I was teaching, I used to get really, really annoyed when during the early part of the summer holidays there would be a sickly voice on the shop’s tannoy explaining that school uniform was now available at a very reasonable price. I had only just started my holidays for goodness sake and here they were reminding me about going back!
Well, it is only the beginning of June but I have seen large displays of the full range of clothing for school for at least 3 weeks! Do they not realise that children grow? Have they not worked out that the six weeks of the holidays is when lots of spurts happen and that is why parents all over the country have that mad dash, often on the last day before the children have to go back to school, to get all the kit?
Why have they decided to launch these ranges now? Do they think that parents will buy now to save that panic at the end of the holidays? Or are they ( as I suspect) hoping they will do that AND find out that the little one is not so little and needs another set of clothes or runs the risk of peer ridicule for looking like a street urchin?
Come on retailers! Times are hard enough without having to spend precious pennies on school uniform. It was not invented to fill your pockets!

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