School gives away more than £30 of school uniform to each of its pupils

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A secondary school in Nottinghamshire has decided to give up to £37 of free school uniform to every pupil.

Queen Elizabeth's Academy, in Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield has given every child at the school a free blazer and tie to encourage higher standards.

Blazers for the academy are provided with a school badge and start from £25.99 for chest sizes up to 32" and £31.99 up to 38" chest sizes. Ties are £5.50.

Head teacher Helena Brothwell said the idea was a bid to relieve the "financial burden" from parents.

Head teacher Helena Brothwell

Head teacher Helena Brothwell

She said: "There is definitely a link between standards of uniform which leads to changes in behaviour. Uniform is of course partly driven to that change.

"But with that change can come the financial burden for parents. If you have two or three children at the academy it becomes very expensive, and pricey very quickly.

"Now parents will not have to worry about that, and can focus on their children having years of fantastic learning experiences.

"It is vital that every student in our academy community can proudly wear our new uniform and feel a sense of belonging.

"There is a really positive buzz around the site, and the students all look smart, professional and keen to learn."

The uniform changed its colour this September from a navy blue blazer to a more professional royal blue shade after a "democratic vote" amongst students.

Uniforms weren't the only change students were met with at the start of term - the method of teaching has also been reformed.

All pupils from the school voted on what colour they wanted their uniform for the new academic year

All pupils from the school voted on what colour they wanted their uniform for the new academic year

Miss Brothwell said lessons will be taught through a more traditional "grammar-style" to accelerate pupils learning.

This means teachers will now stand at the front of the classroom, inform pupils what they will be learning, teach it to them, and then recap what they have learnt.

Previously students relied on researching topics before reporting back to the class.

She added: "This method of teaching fills in gaps of knowledge. The school was with another sponsor until September 2016 and there were issues around teaching and learning.

"We are trying to address that after the students were let down. We have done lots of research on this method of teaching and it leads to a year of accelerated learning.

"Two years of a curriculum goes into one. This is particularly helpful for GCSE students so they are more prepared when they take their exams."

The school became part of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership in September 2016.

Now the academy has been given a 'fresh-start' by Ofsted - meaning previous ratings are 'wiped-clean'. This has given them a three-year window to improve before re-inspection.

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Miss Brothwell said despite no full Ofsted inspection undertaken yet - the academy was "moving forward."

She said: "There is still work to be done to improve, but we have a clear strategy and vision to continually move forward.

"Our aim is to become the secondary academy of choice within Mansfield in the next few years."