Uniform and Standards of Appearance
Please find at the footer of this page our uniform policy for students joining us in September 2021, which is now final.
Please note you may pre-order at present via our provider’s website (see below) for delivery or collection when available. Stock will be in-store from the end of June 2021 if you wish to visit them to try on, size up and purchase.
For all new full uniform purchases for a Year 7 starter, they recommend allowing 30 minutes in-store to try all the items on for size. The shop does get extremely busy over the summer, and with still some uncertainty regarding restrictions that will be in place, they are encouraging all Y7s to visit earlier in the summer where possible.
For any uniform purchased from 1st June, they are offering an exchange policy up to the 1st September (or 28 days if longer), so you may feel safe in the knowledge that if your sizing needs do change, you will be able to swap the uniform you have purchased.
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 policy document at the footer of this page for full dress code details, but in summary, our 11-16 daywear uniform will consist of:
- Grey contemporary style logo blazer (two cuts available);
- Optional grey Houlton School logo pullover (unisex)*;
- 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;
- Optional summer 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);
- Plain white, shirt/blouse (must be suitable for wearing a tie);
- Houlton School tartan tie (clip-on style available in different lengths);
- Apron suitable for practical lessons;
- Plain, dark (black or grey) ankle socks or black, opaque tights;
- Plain black leather or leather-look formal school shoes – no canvas, trainer, or ‘trainer-style’ shoes/logos are acceptable – see picture guide below;
- 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.
Note: in response to feedback, we have very recently decided to allow pupils the option of wearing our grey daywear logo shorts at any time of year if they wish to do so, but would ask parents/carers to ensure that their children make sensible choices during inclement weather. We are working to order stocks of the shorts for any families wishing to purchase these for September as we had not ordered them on the basis they were previously been intended for summer term only. Please check with Webb Ellis directly for the latest updates.
- Black, dark grey or navy coat only with no large/designer logos;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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
Our Indoor PE core uniform consists of:
- Houlton School logo PE top (unisex);
- Houlton School logo PE shorts (unisex);
- White, sports ankle socks;
- Pumps or (non-marking) indoor trainers. These may be any colour or style so long as they are designed for sports.
Our Outdoor Games core uniform consists of:
- Houlton School logo PE top (unisex – same as above);
- Houlton School logo PE shorts (unisex – same as above);
- Houlton School jade outdoor games socks;
- Suitable outdoor training footwear. These may be any colour or style so long as they are designed for sports;
- Rugby/Football boots and gum-shield (you will be advised if/when these are needed);
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.
In its non-statutory advice to schools, the government advises that local authority maintained schools, independent academies and free schools should ‘demonstrate how best value has been achieved and keep the cost of supplying the uniform under review’ and that (where possible) they have more than one uniform supplier, though this is not a statutory requirement.
For our opening year, in common with brand new free schools nationally, we have worked with a trusted local supplier to design and launch our uniform in time for opening. Our local supplier is Webb Ellis, Rugby who are the suppliers for most Rugby Borough schools. We will seek to add a second supplier as soon as is practical next academic year to provide additional choice for parents, though please be reassured that there is usually little to no difference between suppliers’ prices locally as the cost is predominantly set by the source-wholesalers and our suppliers then do their best to keep prices affordable for families.
The price list for our uniform is available here and 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: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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. However, families may also complete a Turn2Us grant search to see if they are eligible for any alternative grants that could support 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 will seek to establish one as soon as is practicable.
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
The Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act has been granted royal assent, but despite much media speculation about what this might mean for schools and families, the bill itself does not provide any new guidance to schools. Instead, it places a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to issue clearer, statutory guidance to schools regarding school uniform, but schools have not yet received this new guidance.
The cost of our required school uniform items was benchmarked to ensure that it sits within the range of costs for existing secondary schools in Rugby Borough. Its cost is also considerably less than the average cost of a secondary school uniform nationally quoted in the briefing papers that informed the original bill from Mike Amesbury MP.
The Department for Education (DfE) has said that it will provide more detailed guidance for schools in the autumn, and that schools should then respond to the guidance for future years. We will respond to the specific guidance issued by the DfE when it is available and will make any necessary revisions to our policy in response to this; therefore, our current policy will apply for September 2021 admissions.
The Sixth-Form dress code is detailed within our formal policy, below.