Parents and students outraged as Huntingdon School looks to drop historic bottle green colour from new uniform

Hinchingbrooke School are to change their uniform, parents and pupils are against it, (l-r) Maddi Pell, Rhys Whittington, Christopher Buckenham, Miah Thomas, Emily Hinchliffe, Sasha Lee. Hinchingbrooke School are to change their uniform, parents and pupils are against it, (l-r) Maddi Pell, Rhys Whittington, Christopher Buckenham, Miah Thomas, Emily Hinchliffe, Sasha Lee.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
12:49 PM

Parents and children are outraged by changes to the Hinchingbrooke School uniform that will see it drop bottle green as its main colour.

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Hinchingbrooke's new uniformHinchingbrooke's new uniform

Letters were sent home on Friday informing parents that, from September, students will be required to wear a black blazer, white shirt and grey trousers or, for girls, a tartan skirt.

The school said the traditional green, which originates from the colour worn by the 1st Hunts Rifle Volunteer Corps, commanded by the Earl of Sandwich, will be represented by a clip-on tie, which will include a different colour for each year, as well as a green stripe on a grey V-neck sweater.

However, Tracey Pell, 43, a former student whose daughters attend the Huntingdon school, said this was the third change in uniform for some pupils and called for the school to change its plans.

“The school has changed its shield to a circle, meaning we had to buy new uniforms,” she said. “For some, this is the third change as the school introduced new houses, so again it meant new uniforms.

What a bottle green uniform could look like at Hinchingbrooke.What a bottle green uniform could look like at Hinchingbrooke.

“I don’t mind the fact they are trying to be more smart, I just don’t want the school to lose its colour and its heritage, which dates back more than 150 years.”

Another disgruntled parent, Karen Finnimore, said: “This action from the school puts more financial ­pressure on families already ­struggling with increased Council Tax bills and other expenses.

“The new school uniform is very impractical, especially for the girls cycling in skirts.”

There is also a Facebook page called Keep Hinchingbrooke School Green, which has received more than 450 ‘likes’.

The new uniform will be introduced gradually. Students starting Year 11 in September will be exempt while students starting Year 8 will have until the start of the 2015 summer term to change.

Sixth-formers will still be able to wear casual clothing although this may be reviewed.

Principal Andrew Goulding said the idea had come from students.

He said: “This is an important step in making this school better, although it is not as important as the quality of teaching or exam results.

“If students are dressed for work it will help them come to school in the right frame of mind.

“I understand that parents are concerned with the cost but we will be offering an alternative which will be cheaper, and there is also a hardship fund available.”

No prices have yet been revealed.

Do you think Hinchingbrooke School should stay green? Send your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk.

17 comments

  • Like it matter it is about time they changed the colour i always think that it look they was pulled out of a nose and everything is change now day. And the black looks about 100% better then the green now all of u grow up and get in to the 21 first centery. It was about 25 year out of date

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    Paddy Foster

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Yes the green made the kids look like a boogie

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    Paddy Foster

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I am a former pupil of Hinchingbrooke School and I have three children going through the school. I am really disappointed that the school want to go this far with the uniform. I agree completely that the uniform needs to be smartened up but to remove the heritage of green from the uniform astounds me. The green in the tie and the optional V-neck jumper just feels like a token gesture. As a parent I did receive a parentmail informing me of discussions about the uniform but it was directed to year 8 and 9 parents who are on the parent forum. My children are not in those year groups and i am not on the forum so didn't feel that I could go. I have submitted my opinion and views to the head teacher and he did respond personally and i would urge others to contact the school and board of governors whether you have links with the school past, present or future. After all dark green is allegedly 'The colour of the county'.

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    Denise

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • What? Hinchingrbrooke should stay green. It always has been and always should be. It's it's identity! Sounds to me that someone is trying to make their mark by making unnecessary changes. A bit like that new idiot at HDC!

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    MB

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Right, I have a younger brother that is also at the school. I asked a prefect how much a blazer was and they said about £50, two times 50 = £100 on blazer than most parents will get another so £200 on just blazers. Than you have to get school shoes that will last so most parents will go to clarks and there shoes cost about £50 a pair so £100 .At the moment you have spent about £300. I've almost grown out of my p.e kit and football boots so that's about £60 . The new uniform is going to cost too much . I've got another rant. A couple of years ago we had ofsted at hinchingbrooke and we got outstand all around. Now since Mr Goulding has come to our school we have dropped to Good. Lots of teaching staff have left . If they constrated on the teaching than the uniform. More students will be getting C- A*. I'm not saying the uniform isn't a problem the staff are complain but they don't do anything about it . They just say how come you haven't got the right uniform and walk away.(Rant over)

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    Devon Wallwein

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • The uniform issue is the latest of a growing line of issues with the school. Once well ahead of St Peters School in exam results, that difference has now been eroded. Under new leadership, the recent Ofsted inspection highlighted serious deficiencies with a 'Needs Improvement' rating. Many teachers have been leaving. The school governors need to step in and address the obvious leadership issues before things get much worse. It is vital that the school leadership take pupils, parents and teachers with them.

    Report this comment

    yr11parent

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • It's not just the colour! "and grey trousers or, for girls, a tartan skirt" Does this mean girls can wear either grey trousers or a tartan skirt? I feel changing the colour is not a great idea, yes alter uniform, but not the Colour. If you are changing the uniform will this just be applicable for all new year 7's or every year group? My fear is uniform does cost and some children may still fit their current uniform and parents may not be able to afford this new uniform? So who is footing the bill?

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    Kelly-Louise Charter

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • I wish you luck with your campaign to keep green in the HInchingbrooke uniform. My suspicion is that you won't be successful, I think Mr Goulding has shown that he has no concern for the traditions of the school. He proved this by cancelling the Malawi trip with no consultation with parents or staff. This is not the first time I have seen a head teacher arrive at a school and make wholesale changes and not for the better, Julian Short eluded to the other local school that has suffered from constant changes in headship. I am so pleased that I have no children of school age and I wish everybody luck in securing the best education for your children. I think you might need it especially when a head wastes his time on changing uniform and not concentrating on why his school has gone from 'good' to 'satisfactory'.

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    MrsT

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • I definitely think the school needs to look again at parents views on the subject and perhaps needs to be asking itself why so few attended the uniform meeting,as quite clearly not everyone received the parent mail and indeed is parent mail the right way to inform parents of such a huge decision? Perhaps notices on the school webpage and a good old fashioned letter would have been better, not everyone checks their email or is indeed signed up for it !!

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    TRACEY PELL

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I am an old student at Hinchingbrooke school and i had no problem with it Mr nanckieval (or however you spell his name, made the school what i would say perfect Mr Goulding comes in and ruins everything Keith did. The new uniform looks stupid I'm so glad i left when i did because the school is longer the school i know and love. Well done Mr goulding you know how to ruin a school

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    Robin Foster

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • 'Principal Andrew Goulding said the idea had come from students'. How many students, 5? Surely the main consideration should be whether this change is really supported by many students or just as importantly their parents? I bet the vast majority of parents would not support this change which will be viewed by them as just a needless extra cost however small or great that turns out to be. How many parents were consulted before pushing this change through? ' “This is an important step in making this school better'. Define 'better', as changing a uniform does not improve the quality of teaching or necessarily a schools standard? Take Buckden school as an example of this. 'we will be offering an alternative which will be cheaper, and there is also a hardship fund available'. This will mean extra cost for the majority of parents or will Hinchingbrooke be paying for every uniform? How will this be cheaper than not changing it? Not seeing much support for this change, so surely it would be in the interests of parents, students and Hinchingbrooke school to just leave it or does Hinchingbrooke school disagree? Perhaps a democratic vote could resolve this?

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    Julian Short

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I am 55yrs and my husband and Father attended Huntingdon Grammar and Hinchingbrooke respectively. Pupils and Staff change. Please do not alter the heritage. Do senior pupils really like the suggestion of clip on ties ? I remember at infant school ties on elastic.

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    phillipa stacey

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • The uniform issue is the latest of a growing line of issues with the school. Once well ahead of St Peters School in exam results, that difference has now been eroded. Under new leadership, the recent Ofsted inspection highlighted serious deficiencies with a 'Needs Improvement' rating. Many teachers have been leaving. The school governors need to step in and address the obvious leadership issues before things get much worse. It is vital that the school leadership take pupils, parents and teachers with them.

    Report this comment

    yr11parent

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Mr Goulding is doing his absolute utmost to unpick every shred of excellence that Keith Nancekievill OBE weaved into Hinchingbrooke, and it makes me sick. The colour green held particular significance to me as a Cromwell House Captain, but it's been a vital element of every part of this school and its fine traditions for as long as I can remember. This is not the school that served me so well for seven years and it's certainly not the one that its outstanding students, faculty and staff deserve. Hinchingbrooke School deserves better than Andrew Goulding.

    Report this comment

    George Gabriel

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • The uniform issue is the latest of a growing line of issues with the school. Once well ahead of St Peters School in exam results, that difference has now been eroded. Under new leadership, the recent Ofsted inspection highlighted serious deficiencies with a 'Needs Improvement' rating. Many teachers have been leaving. The school governors need to step in and address the obvious leadership issues before things get much worse. It is vital that the school leadership take pupils, parents and teachers with them.

    Report this comment

    yr11parent

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • This is just one in the long line of changes since the new principal took over. The school is losing its local identity, has had its Ofsted rating lowered and teachers are leaving by the coachload. Whilst those committed teachers are taking on more workload, running workshops at lunchtimes in subjects not their own and generally trying to hold up sand walls. 2 weeks ago there were 9 posts advertised in 1 week in the Hunts Post. Our kids have stand in teachers continually, recently a language teacher for 3 weeks in a science lesson. This principle cares nothing about the students or their results, almost every parentmail we receive is nothing to do with the education at Hinchingbrooke, very interesting if you want to hear of his newest money making scheme in the house or cheese and wine evenings, or even hire it for a wedding. No use if you genuinely care about the education being taught. So no surprise to me that he is creating a new "brand" with a changed uniform. Well done these kids though for bringing it to the local news, but sadly just part of a much bigger problem.

    Report this comment

    Parentyr10

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Firstly as a student at Hinchingbrooke School for the past 4 years, I am appalled at the changes the 'Principal' has made. It appears to me and many others in my year group, Mr Goulding has every intention to make his mark on the school, regardless of how the students feel. For example he cancelled D Of E and year 10 students took it upon themselves to start a petition to bring it back. He has also cancelled Malawi, which have caused many students and parents to question what he is actually doing, apart from making unnecessary changes to a school where students were happy. These two examples alone, have been a tradition at Hinchingbrooke school for sometime, many of which close family and friends have taken part in. As for the uniform, this change has caused outrage throughout the school. It has taken over social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram, because people have been so furious about the change. Hinchingbrooke has always been green and should remain that way. He seems to be making us look like a private school, in a hope to up the Ofsted report. We are forced to wear our sweatshirts, even though our parents have paid for a polo shirt that we must wear as part of our uniform, until teachers tell us that it's the right weather for us too take them off. This makes it extremely uncomfortable too learn. I have substitute teachers at least 3 times a week, and in one particular subject I was without a teacher for 2 months, in one of the most important years of school. I felt I had learnt nothing when it came to my GCSE Mocks, as many of the subjects, I had not been taught properly. However, one teacher had taken it upon themselves too help teach my class that hadn't had a teacher, in a subject he didn't professionally teach. He also ran extra revision in order to boost our confidence and in an attempt to make up for the two months we had sat and looked at the same page of a text book. Many of the best teachers have left, and when you ask them why, they purely just say because they aren't happy with the changes that have been made or because they have found better schools. When Mr Nansckevil was our head teacher, everyone feared him when he walked in the room and every student, staff and parent was happy and it was unheard of that a member of staff was leaving. I as a student and many others will agree, feel as though 'Principal' Goulding - another change enforced - only has eyes for money and recognition, nothing what so ever too do with the happiness of students or the quality of education they are getting. More important things need to be addressed rather than uniform, like making sure students actually have a teacher.

    Report this comment

    yr10pupil

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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