School Uniform

Uniform and Standards of Appearance

The UK Department for Education issued new statutory guidance to schools regarding school uniform in November 2021. They made clear that they believe uniforms provide a sense of belonging for students and are helpful in fostering a good learning environment, promoting the ethos of a school. However, they also recognised that schools and parents needed clarification over what is reasonable in terms of a school's uniform policy. All parents understand that when their child transitions to secondary school they will likely require a new uniform so are likely to have planned for this expected cost, but the government seeks to ensure that this is affordable. Houlton School’s uniform expectations comply with the latest government guidance.


The new guidance states that, by summer 2023, schools must ensure that:

  • branded items are limited to those uniform items that are long-lasting (e.g. Blazer, skirt, trousers) or where items are relatively low-cost (e.g. a school tie).
    - Houlton School's uniform already conforms with this requirement.
  • generic items should not be branded, though it would be appropriate to require a particular colour or style so long as these items would be widely available from low-cost retailers (e.g. school shirts, socks).
    - Houlton School's uniform already conforms with this requirement.
  • branded school uniform items should be machine washable. 
    - Houlton School's uniform already conforms with this requirement.
  • schools' required PE kits may be branded but pupils should not be required to wear different clothes for different activities (e.g. different shorts for football and hockey), though they may offer additional branded optional items, e.g. tracksuit bottoms, hooded tops.
    - Houlton School's PE kit already conforms with this requirement.
  • schools should make clear which items are required, and which are optional.
    - Houlton School's policy and this webpage already conform with this requirement.
  • schools should make clear when an item may be purchased from a generic, low-cost retailer.
    - Houlton School's policy and this webpage already conform with this requirement.
  • regular tendering competitions should be run where a single supplier is used for branded items; these tenders should ensure that more than one supplier can compete for the contract to ensure the best value is secured each time. This contract should be retendered at least every 5 years.
    Houlton School last tendered in 2021 and our current arrangements are with trusted local supplier Webb Ellis, who also supply almost all secondary schools in Rugby Borough. The cost of our required uniform was benchmarked to ensure that is it within the range of costs for uniform at other Rugby Borough secondary schools so that we are confident that it represents value for money. You may contact Webb Ellis directly on 01788 567777 / e-mail: sales@webb-ellis.co.uk for further information. We are next due to retender in 2026.
  • as soon as practicable, schools should offer a second hand uniform service.
    - Houlton School is brand new; therefore, our second-hand uniform shop will open as soon as there are second-hand items available. If you have second-hand or unused items you would like to donate, please contact Friends of Houlton School via the school office.

See further down this page for an breakdown of the best value uniform option at Houlton School under 'Support with the cost of uniform'.


Houlton School's uniform

We want our pupils to wear their uniform professionally, correctly and with pride.

Houlton’s uniform is a traditional style, whilst suitable for a C21st academy. The uniform has been designed to be gender neutral, whilst ensuring that there are cuts available in items to better fit male and female proportions and that there are appropriate choices for pupils.

Please refer to the full policy document for full dress code details, but in summary, our 11-16 daywear uniform consists of:

  • Required Grey contemporary style logo blazer (two cuts available);
  • Optional grey Houlton School logo pullover (unisex)*;
  • Required Grey contemporary style logo trousers (two cuts available – must be at ankle-length and not modified to capri or similar styles) or
  • Tartan kilt-style logo skirt, which, if worn, must be worn on or below the knee; any pupil not wearing the skirt at the specified length will lose the privilege of wearing it and will be required to wear our contemporary logo trousers instead; and/or
  • Optional grey contemporary style logo shorts (may be worn by boys or girls at any time of year but we ask parents/carers to support their children in making sensible decisions during inclement weather);
  • Required Houlton School tartan tie (clip-on style available in different lengths);
  • Required Plain white, shirt/blouse (must be suitable for wearing a tie and may be purchased from any retailer);
  • Required Apron suitable for practical lessons - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • Required Plain, dark (black or grey) ankle socks or black, opaque tights - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • Required Plain black leather or leather-look formal school shoes – no canvas, trainer, or ‘trainer-style’ shoes/logos are acceptable – see picture guide below - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • One, plain (no gem-stones) stud earring per ear – no other jewellery (see policy for full details);
  • High-fashion hair styles (including skin-fades), colours, or extreme styles are not acceptable (see policy for full details).
  • Pupils with hair long enough to be tied back must wear this tied-back with a plain band whilst on campus at all times, including during practical lessons.

Outer Garments 

  • Optional Black, dark grey or navy coat only with no large/designer logos - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • Hooded-style tops are not permitted at any time and should not be brought onto campus (except the optional Houlton hooded top for PE lessons only);
  • A scarf/gloves/winter hat is permitted during the winter months but must be removed in all buildings - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • Pupils wearing a Hijab/turban or other item of clothing relating to religious observance must ensure that it is either black or grey in colour. Full face coverings are not appropriate for wear in school - may be purchased from any retailer;
  • All pupils should have a suitable bag for their essential daily equipment. They may choose the colour and style but should ensure that it is practical and free from any logos or slogans that could be deemed offensive/inappropriate - may be purchased from any retailer. There is no branded PE bag - pupils may use any bag that is practical.

Cosmetics

  • Eye brows should be natural, not drawn on or with any razor indents.
  • False or acrylic nails are not permitted.
  • Any nail varnish worn must be clear.
  • Make-up must be natural in appearance and used only for the purposes of covering blemishes. Fashion make-up is not acceptable.
  • Eye make–up, lipstick, bronzing or highlighters are not permitted.

Pupils arriving at school with inappropriate cosmetics/hair will be asked to rectify this prior to attending lessons and may be withdrawn from circulation until they have been able to do so.

PE Core Uniform 
  • Required Houlton School logo PE top (unisex);
  • Required Houlton School logo PE shorts (unisex);
  • Required Houlton School logo PE shorts (unisex – worn for all lessons);
  • Required suitable training footwear. These may be any colour or style so long as they are designed for sports;
  • Football boots will be required for a Rugby block of work in year 7 for the first half term. We advise you to borrow boots where possible rather than paying for a new pair for one term if you do not already own a pair. Gum-shields will only need to be purchased if your child wishes to partake in Rugby club.

Optional items for additional warmth**:

  • (If worn) Houlton School logo winter tracksuit (bottoms)**;
  • (If worn) Houlton School logo mid-layer (top)**;
  • (If worn) Houlton School logo winter outer-layer hooded style (top)**;
  • (If worn) Houlton School logo base-layer for Football/Rugby/Dance (top)**;
  • (If worn) Houlton School logo base-layer for Football/Rugby/Dance (bottoms)**.

Gum shields must be worn for rugby – shoes or boots worn for outdoor games may not be worn indoors and vice-versa.

Deodorising products must be roll-on. Sprays of any kind are strictly forbidden as some students have allergies/asthma: spraying of these products is dangerous and potentially fatal.

*Whilst this is an optional item, no other pullovers, hooded tops or additional items will be allowed on campus, so if your child is likely to be cold, this is an advisable item.

**If worn, these items must be Houlton School items. High Fashion/Designer/Alternative items are not acceptable.

Support with the cost of uniform

Warwickshire County Council no longer offer a school uniform grants scheme (the 2005 Education Act stated that local authorities no longer had a specific duty to provide this service). If you live in a different local authority, you should contact them directly to find out whether they still operate a uniform grant scheme as some LAs continued with the scheme. Warwickshire families may also wish to complete a Turn2Us grant search to see if they are eligible for any alternative grants that could support with the cost of school uniform.

For pupils joining in Year 7 for the first time, unfortunately the academy does not receive any funding for your child until they are enrolled in September; therefore, we do not have access to any funds to support families with the cost of school uniform.

Warwickshire’s Family Information Service (FIS) may also be able to explore alternative grant applications and whether you are receiving all available financial support generally.

As we are a brand new school, we do not yet have a second hand uniform service, but we will establish one as soon as second-hand uniform items become available.

The government has stated that the average cost of school uniform in England for a new Year 7 pupil is around £300. The Houlton School required branded School uniform items have been minimised and and best value option is as follows:

Core Uniform:
Blazer:                  32.99
Tie:                       9.90
Either
Shorts                   14.99 (£57.88 Total)
OR
Trousers                16.99 (59.88 Total)
OR
Skirt                      £24.60 (£67.49 Total)

Required branded PE Kit items:
Top                       16.99
Shorts                   12.50
Socks                    6.99
Total                     £36.48

Best value core branded items cost (shorts option) inc. PE kit: £94.36

All other uniform items are either optional or may be purchased from generic (e.g. supermarket) retailers as stated above.

Sixth-Form

The Sixth-Form dress code is detailed within our formal policy, below.


Footwear Guidance
A truly lovely #WorldClass place; everything here works - staff, pupils, learning environment, leadership, collaboration: where joy is a real part of the curriculum.
Miranda Perry - Director of World Class Schools Quality Mark