No uniform at Avanti hall school, Exeter.



I don’t agree with school uniform .

Joelle Jeng (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Uniforms are old hat....why bring them in where there are none's backwards thinking...we should be ahead of change not going backwards

Samantha Joyce (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I don’t believe Uniform is necessary or beneficial. Individuality and comfort is much more important.

Emma-Jayne Thomas (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


A consultation on uniform was promised for Sept 2021. I disagree with uniform. I have already bought clothes and shoes for this academic year. Either Avanti have told untruths or are not honouring their promises. Either way I do not wish my child to be part of a school that treats people with so little respect.

Jane Rae (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Extremely frustrated and angry by this out-of-date thinking and feel totally (yet again) let down by Avanti

Caroline Fisher (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


This is supposed to be a forward thinking, inclusive school.
This is a very backward way of thinking.. making children wear what are deemed to be clothes to prepare them for the work place, when hardly any work places enforce a suit culture these days. Adults who wear uniform have, for the most part, chosen their vacation and earned the right to wear the accompanying uniform.

There has been no promised consultation for these arguments to be aired.

There are many more issues at Avanti Hall that still need addressing that should be prioritised way above the introduction of a uniform.

Don't patronise parents by saying "it is relatively inexpensive"... compared to what?!?! It is an extra, unplanned expense however you look at it.

Certain teachers will prioritise what children look like over their performance in the classroom. Calling children out because they look different is so wrong.

Dressed for Success is a horrible phrase suggesting we all have to look the same to be successful is just so backward.

Come on Avanti.... please let's issue a sensible dress code and move on to use our energies to put right the many other things that need improvement.

Joanna Tagg (exeter, 2020-10-13)


I am in full agreement with the points stated above. I do not wish to teach my children that conforming to antiquated rules created and dictated by the elite, subduing our individuality and sense of self identity, or becoming part of a homogeneous society of drones, in any way is to be associated with a sense of success.
I do, however, want my children to value honesty and respect!
Online and printed literature produced by Avanti Hall School states that no uniform will be in place for 2020-2021: “Uniform - there will be no change to the current uniform requirements in September 2020 but we intend to launch a formal consultation on the possible introduction of a uniform from September 2021” and “In 2020-2021 there is no uniform. Parents will be consulted on a uniform policy for 2021-2022”.
I don’t see much honesty between these statements and the announcement to introduce a uniform from January 2021 without consultation.

Ben Fitch (Crediton , 2020-10-13)


My child has sensory needs And eczema and will need special dispensation to wear different things which he will hate as he will then stand out from everyone else

Yona Wiseman (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Uniform has been rushed in 9 months earlier than the earliest date stated by Avanti on the school's website. The promised consultation which parents have been awaiting has not happened. Families, some with many children in the school are being expected to purchase new clothes and shoes for their children over the Christmas period, during a pandemic, when they may be furloughed, newly unemployed or facing other financial difficulties. 11 weeks notice that this has been brought forward by 9 months is not long enough and skipping the consultation (reducing it to blazers or no) shows a stunning lack of consideration for the families at the school.

Kate Wren (Crediton, 2020-10-13)


We were promised a consultation period from sept 2021 regarding uniforms. Bringing in uniforms with no consultation from January 2021 is clearly not keeping this promise.
Times are financially hard for many people. Many of us have bought our children clothes And shoes for school at the beginning of this term. An additional set of clothes for January for our children seems unreasonable.

Anna Goudge (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I agree whole heartedly with all of the points set out so clearly above. I would encourage Avanti to really give this matter the proper consideration & consultation that it deserves.

Harriet Harper (Exeter , 2020-10-13)


I do not believe that the introduction of a uniform at the school will meet the aims stated by the management team. I believe this is a school that can be different and seek excellence based on high teaching standards, celebrating student diversity and individuality and fostering responsibility and creativity in ways intrinsic to the child rather than using extrinsic methods such as uniform to create a sense of conformity. I have worked in a school which bought in a uniform where there had previously been none and standards of behaviour and student attitude dropped and staff wasted much time on addressing what the children were wearing rather than how they were learning. I feel a uniform is an out dated way to create a school identity and that the ability to choose your own sensible attire is something a child can do very well without needing a uniform.

Lucy Halliday (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I believe parents and students should have been part of the promised consultation process.

The move to bring uniform in early is not documented in the minutes of the SW Hub meetings of governors for the three SW Avanti schools as would be expected.

It feels very much that this move to a uniformed school is to appease the public and local community to enhance admissions, but it is alienating the families of children who have already given so much, held Avanti in high regard, and trusted their promises.

Growing up in Exeter I went to First and Middle Schools without uniforms and so this ethos is not new to the demographic.

Please reconsider the consultation process for more than the deliberation of Blazers in secondary school.

Vicky Clayton (Exeter , 2020-10-13)


School uniform reduces individuality of the child, adds stress to the teacher’s day correcting it and most importantly adds more stress financially and practically on parents. I love the differences that no uniform brings to our school. It is one element of the previous Steiner culture that you have power to retain. There is absolutely no need to change this apart from external appearance of uniformity and conformity. Who wants that?????

Nicola Bell (Dawlish, 2020-10-13)


I don't agree with the uniform policy. There has been no consultation with parents and we are being "sold," this concept based on school ethos benefits not the children wellbeing. It's an indirect way of imposing your own law making it seem like you care about parents and children. School shoes for the younger children is a crazy idea they supposed to wear them when playing outside in the British wet winter conditions or will someone ensure that they have their outdoor shoes on?

Ania Egonu (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


We do not agree to having uniforms, and are happy to agree to a dress code, similar to what SAE’s dress code policy was. We haven’t been consulted on this and were told in the curriculum review that there was a possibility of uniforms from September 2021 though there was to be a parent consultation first, no mention that uniforms are to be suddenly worn in January 2021!

Francesca Austin (Cranbrook, 2020-10-13)


My child has the right to be a free thinking individual, choosing her own beat to drum to..finding her own style in this world...dress to reflect who you truly are as a human not merely dress to sucess!

Samantha Taylor (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Our family was put under so much stress and worries through the transition from SAE to AHS, any more and we will take our child out of this school and not subscribe his brothers, either

Marlen Siegert (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Freedom of expression through dress is something I have come to recognise as important to a child's development during thirty years of working with and parenting children. The man made fibres used in the manufacture of school uniform contribute to the pollution of our oceans, are embarrassingly "sweaty" for teenagers. The artificial fibres lack the warmth appropriate for the growing child. Moreover, the cost, albeit modest in the eyes of the "haves", is crippling for a growing number of families on low wages. The current pandemic only serve to make matters worse
When Avanti sought to take over SAE, they sold themselves as Steiner influenced and were aware that uniform was not part of that tradition. I would like to think that the overtures made to parents at that time were genuine and in his faith.

Jo Sambrook (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I totally agree with everything said.

Gina Hurley (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Uniforms awful for eczema kids as well as environmentally unfriendly. Forcing kids to wear shoes with no ankle support and ultimately during winter end up with wet cold feet all day. Good luck keeping the five year old clean in a white shirt with curry for lunch. One jumper is not enough for 5 year olds who come home with half there jumper covered in food and mud.

Emma Wantoch (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I disagree with the uniform policy.

Karen Atkinson (Crediton, 2020-10-13)


I'm signing because I disagree with the wearing of uniforms

Michael Hughes (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Both of my son's attend the school.

I am frustrated by the adoption of this policy going against what was previously stated around having a consultation before any movement forward.

I feel like I'm being taken for a mug, and blatantly being lied to.

It's as if Avanti know what they want to implement. And are doing it regardless, despite the empty promises they make - which are just said to placate the school community until the next round of policies get introduced.

It is an extremely uncertain and stressful time in the world for many of us. Extra change and financial cost is NOT appreciated, adding to an already full, boatload of worries.

Another nail in the coffin. As they slowly boil the frog.

Not impressed.

Daniel Kendall (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I'm signing because we were told there would be a consultation process in Sept 2020 and that the new uniform would be introduced in Sept 2021.

Elli Shepherd (Exeter , 2020-10-13)


I will send a letter regarding this separately, but I wholeheartedly agree with the text above.

Ananja Michell (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I think uniforms are anachronistic and unhelpful. They do not look smart and stifle self expression. They have no place in the 21st century.

Christopher Tagg (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


Uniforms are an archaic notion based on the desire for subservience in a world which once required willing factory workers. 2020 is far removed from that world, and the era our children are entering as working adults requires them to be highly creative, compassionate, engaged and endlessly curious - uniforms do NOT encourage this kind of embodied thinking; they destroy it.

Moreover, “dressing for success” in 2020 = wearing what you feel vibrant in and is also most effective in your working environment. If our children are engaged in a variety of activities, they need to be wearing clothes which are appropriate (one parent rightly commented that the uniform was highly unsuitable for landcraft/forest school, for example) *and* comfortable throughout their long day. Moreover, our school has had no issues with bullying over clothing - it’s one of the most diverse and beautiful elements of our community.

Zoe Foster (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


I feel the use of uniform is archaic and causes more issues around comparison than without uniform.

It is impractical, time consuming, environmentally unsound and costly

Elinor Somerton (Exeter, 2020-10-13)


We expected a consultation about uniforms to take place and for potential implementation in September 2021. To bring a uniform in Jan 2021 with no consultation breaches parents and childrens’ trust, whether or not they are in favour of a uniform. It’s a PR disaster! The biggest driver of new children starting at the school is parental word of mouth. This has antagonized parents at a time when it’s crucial that trust and community is re-built and positive stories filter out to potential new parents. In this time of Covid restrictions and worries, we are all trying to keep things calm and predictable for our children. Many parents have said to their kids that they may have to wear a uniform but ‘not till next academic year’; this decision undermines Our authority and creates more ruptured expectations for our kids. Please not only withdraw this proposal but also ensure that the consultation you promised us happens and that the outcome reflects the wishes and needs of the children and parents, including concerns about inclusivity, sensory issues, ethical and environmental standards.

Hannah Reeves (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


Celebrate individuality.

Jessica Mcallister (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


This is another violation of trust! as usual we were never consulted on a matter promised disgraceful!

This is a completely unaffordable time of year and an inappropriate time to ask parents to provide uniforms!

My child has been asked to vote on blazers before parents have even had time to talk to them regarding the situation!

Year 9 are classed as upper school yet expected to where uniform when the rest of upper school are not!

The children have missed enough school and have enough anxiety to deal with from all the changes made with staff and covid through the time away from this setting!

Diversity should be respected and if teachers teach in a way that is reaching individuals in an engaging and respectful manner, uniforms etc should not make any impact on behaviours whatsoever!

Jessica Davidson (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


My children have autism and sensory processing disorder and can not physical wear it, non uniform is main reason why my children go there

Stacy ann Smith (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


I believe children should have the autonomy to wear what they please to be comfortable

Faye Barrett (Exeter , 2020-10-14)


I value individual creativity and expression.

Aam Dooley (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


I am signing because it was one of the key reasons for me choosing the school. I loved the fact the school was different to the other mainstream schools in the area. I also believe that children should have a choice in what they want to wear, express themselves and their personality in doing so. Seeing all the children in the morning, wearing their own clothes, reflexing their uniqueness just lights up my heart. This is something we should be embracing, not removing to conform to a uniform and stripping that from them. I myself went to a school that was none uniform and very similar to Avanti Hall in South Africa, I long for a childhood the same for my children! Please reconsider this change and allow our children to be wonderfully unique.

Erin Roth (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


There was an oppurtunity to create something amazing with 3 schools with 3 communities of parents who are ALL up for something different, something new, something that isn't mainstream education - it strictly didn't ever need to be Steiner Waldorf. The schools all had waiting lists of parents, all wanting something different for their students.
And then repeatedly, Avanti Schools Trust have alluded to and directly promised ideas and plans that have given the parent bodies a glimmer of hope that maybe, these schools in the south west might be something special. But no, this is it, the absolute proof that the Trust do not care about anything other creating three new identical 'Avanti' schools to fit in nicely with their existing ones. There is going to be nothing special or unique about these schools, they will just be run of the mill state schools. I feel sorry for the Principals and the Staff for them thinking they have some autonomy over their own schools but this also proves they are just puppets for the trust.
And no, I don't agree with uniforms - there is no pliable evidence that a uniform makes you succesful, this just shows the mentality of the trust is serously out of date, by decades.
I don't agree with the students using surnames of teachers and staff, this is out of date as well and creates a clinical feel to everything.
Our children are at this school to learn how to become valuable members of society yet these arcane ideas are just showing them how to become subordinate members of society - one wouldn't parent their own children like this and if someone did, they would be frowned upon for using outdated ideas - so why are outdated ideas being brought back into this school?
I feel cheated, robbed, lied to, and untrusting all by and towards the central Trust.

Anon Ymous (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


I am in agreement

Ajaine Edward (Exeter, 2020-10-14)


Although I think a uniform maybe easier.. I cannot see any issues with what is currently in place therefore why change this.

C Simei (Exeter , 2020-10-14)


I disagree with the introduction of school uniform at Avanti hall ever without proper consultation. However I understand that uniform is part of the Avanti ethos. January is to soon and impossible for me to finance so close to Christmas. September 2021 would be a more respectful start for the children and parents. After all the changes in and out of school I feel January is not taking the children's adjustment in to consideration and is detrimental and insensitive. Reconsider till the start of the school year. We have never had any issues caused by no uniform in the 7 years we've attended.

Eleanor Stevenson (Tiverton, 2020-10-14)


I am opposed to a uniform being introduced in January without proper consultation with the parent body. I think having a dress code would be better and I do not agree with the term ‘dress for success’ this implies that only successful people wear a uniform?
Thank you for reading, Isabelle

Isabelle Baigent (Ottery st Mary , 2020-10-14)


I don't agree with uniforms for the reasons listed in this petition.

Lee Austin (Cranbrook, 2020-10-14)


I do not understand why it is needed.
My son has eczema and reacts to synthetic fabrics.
Children are more restricted and can be less physically active in uniform.
School shoes are no good for playing football at playtime or going to the woods/meadow.
No Boots? Why are winter boots not allowed?
In primary children can wear slippers in classroom and outside footwear at break and lunch?
Little consultation
Little notice
I feel the cons hugely outweigh any positives.

Rachel el Farmer (exeter , 2020-10-14)


Why must we dress children as mini office workers?

I find the idea of enforced uniformity (especially in children) to be a depressing obstacle toward creative expressions of individuality.

To want to dress children in monotone when they naturally gravitate toward colour and vibrancy just feels incredibly sad.

Robin Doyle (Crediton, 2020-10-14)


I agree with the points raised. In particular that consideration needs to be given to reasonable adjustment for send. Lots of neurological conditions such as ASC and ADHD and even dyslexia, are often co-morbid with an easily stimulated sensory system - which is why many children use ear defenders or get headaches from lights or screens. Many children also experience an over sensitivity to touch and can become overwhelmed by the restrictive, hot, itchy or uncomfortable nature of some clothing. These children already have a difficult time engaging with learning - it is important that care is taken to ensure that children with additional needs feel as comfortable as possible in the school environment.

Kate Amphlett (Exeter , 2020-10-14)


I feel let down by the lack of consultation on ALL areas of the new uniform policy. While I am in favour of the status quo (no uniform) if a uniform is to be introduced a proper consultation should have been carried out with both parents and students.

Matt Foster (Bovey Tracey, 2020-10-14)


So sad that uniform is being introduced. If whoever made this decision actually looked at the children they would see what I've seen for the years we have been there - children dressed well and happy. Also if you actually asked the children what they think, you could listen and hear that most of them do not want this. Such a shame.

Sharon Pavey (Exeter, 2020-10-15)


My son is autistic and joined the school because of the no uniform policy.

Mariam Badavi (Exeter , 2020-10-15)


I'm signing this because my child has the right to being an individual and he needs to be treated as one, particularly by his trusted school. There is already plenty implemented in the school this year which has taken much of this away

Daksha Bhimji (Exeter, 2020-10-15)


I see no reason for a uniform.

Leone Ellis (Exeter , 2020-10-15)


I believe that there is no educational need for uniform. We no longer live in a society where 100% of our 'successful' careers where suits or even smart attire. Most work places now have a casual smart policy.
The introduction of a school uniform will also increase the already high financial burden of raising a family in the day and age we should be able to look past someone's attire and value their commitment to schooling/work or career

Liza Stevenson (Tiverton, 2020-10-15)


I feel the uniqness and individuality of the children and the school will be lost. I also have concerns as to the issues it could cause for Sen children

Ros Webb (Exeter, 2020-10-16)


I am passionate that this un-consulted introduction of uniforms is not only a breach of trust and commitment, it also does not reflect the Avanti Way and values that have been promoted to us since the takeover. I have let many aspects of the school go just for its survival, but this feels like an unnecessary and unwanted imposition.

Matthew Banks (Exeter, 2020-10-16)


I would have liked the promised consultation. Also changing the uniform mid academic year is most unhelpful when many parents have just brought new shoes and clothes for school. I am disappointed in the dull colours and materials. I am in agreement to many others that feels it takes away the students individuality and expression. My son is saddened by the proposed change.

Helen Wavish (Teignmouth, 2020-10-16)


Uniforms do nothing to encourage 'success' and in fact are a detriment to children's development as creative and discerning individuals.

Annie Murdock (EXETER, 2020-10-16)


I’m pretty shocked by this announcement, given that we have been assured that a consultation would take place And that September 2021 would be the possible date for uniform introduction. This throws other assurances and statements into doubt.

Ray Burnley (Exeter , 2020-10-16)


What I'm reading in this comment section makes a lot more sense than what the school is saying.

owain boardman (exeter, 2020-10-16)


So much to say, it is hard to restrict it here. A few points:

The proposed uniform is dull, out-dated, and physically constricting. This will impact comfort, play, and physical and mental freedom and creativity. Girls will be especially physically restricted in having to wear a either a boy’s clothing or a skirt. They are not able to have the same physical freedom and opportunities as boys, and this will impact their mental health and ability.

The uniform seems to contradict the publicised values and long-term aims of the school. Even more so, it contradicts the values and long-term wishes of those of us who have consciously chosen for our children to be educated and developed here.

Please give us a voice, as promised. Give us the opportunity to work with you, for us to mutually learn from each other, and in partnership achieve our common goal of a school of community, of individual growth and development, and of giving each child the potential to know who they are, to know and embrace those around them, and to achieve their individual academic and personal potential.

Respectful collaboration on a uniform/ dress code that embraces the uniqueness of Avanti Hall and its pupils will be a crucial first step towards a rich and enduring partnership.

Joanne Abraham (Exeter, 2020-10-17)


The school has broken trust with the parents

Ian Gawler-Collins (Exeter, 2020-10-18)


Of all of the above and more.

Cath Fitch (Exeter, 2020-10-19)


Uniforms at school are not necessary and do not increase good behaviour as stated.
Cost, many can't afford to buy extra clothing.

anna patch (Exeter, 2020-10-19)


I’m signing because Avanti is a school celebrating diversity, uniform is a classic way to conform. It accentuates other differences. It’s expensive, fabrics are unethical.

Jenny Roberts (Bickleigh, 2020-10-19)


I don't agree with how the uniform is being phased in. It breaks trust to make a statement that uniform will not be brought in until September 2021 after a consultation period and then bring it in early with no consultation. In my opinion it also shows some disrespect and insensitivity towards the parent community who will find this change in culture difficult.

Elana Mosse (Exeter, 2020-10-19)


This is an abuse of power. Avanti trust promised to collaborate and include our beloved Steiner values. They promised us input into the school uniform and are now trammelling over our rights and our children’s right to comfort and suitable clothing for the environment of the school grounds. I find this a breach of trust and power.

Hannah Jackson (Exeter , 2020-10-22)

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