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Anxious wait for uniform for some parents and schools as new term looms

PUBLISHED: 15:57 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:49 05 September 2018

Thousands of children in Norfolk could start school this month without knowing basic skills such as how to hold a pencil or go to the toilet by themselves. Picture : ANTONY KELLY.

Thousands of children in Norfolk could start school this month without knowing basic skills such as how to hold a pencil or go to the toilet by themselves. Picture : ANTONY KELLY.

A company which supplies 42 schools in Norfolk and 57 in Suffolk has left children without uniforms on their first days of school.

There's nothing like working together and having fun. This is  Cecil Gowing Primary School, Norwich. Picture: GREENER GROWTHThere's nothing like working together and having fun. This is Cecil Gowing Primary School, Norwich. Picture: GREENER GROWTH

Parents and schools in Norfolk and Suffolk are today hoping that they have avoided a uniform supply problem that has affected thousands of pupils across the country.

National firm School Trends, which supplies 42 schools in Norfolk and 57 in Suffolk, has hit a “technical glitch” that has left some children without uniforms on their first day of school.

In this region, most children go back to school on Thursday (September 6). And, while many are yet to encounter a problem, some are still awaiting deliveries.

Laura Cook, whose son goes to Hethersett Junior School, said: “I ordered my son’s uniform at the beginning of the school holidays. I was told it was 21 days delivery and nothing has arrived yet.

Little Plumstead Church of England Primary School    Picture: GREENER GROWTHLittle Plumstead Church of England Primary School Picture: GREENER GROWTH

“He is starting on Thursday and will have to wear a sweatshirt from last year. He has no PE kit so will have to sit out for the first few lessons until it arrives.”

Mrs Cook said: “I’m very upset as my son will not have his correct uniform, it’s caused unnecessary stress.”

Headteacher Matthew Parslow-Williams reassured Mrs Cook. He said: “With this issue we would support families and allow them to come in to school wearing clothes other than the ones ordered to reduce their stress and anxiety.”

When contacted, many schools said that School Trends was their provider but they did not deal with uniform orders directly and had not heard of any problems from parents.

Little Plumstead School is currently waiting for an order from the company, and has been told it has been dispatched.

Thurton Primary School was not aware of any problems but said: “If uniform doesn’t arrive children can wear a plain green or white polo shirt.”

School Trends said on Twitter: “We are doing everything we can to ensure customers receive their orders as soon as possible.

“Therefore, we have taken the decision to cease monitoring & responding to social media until further notice.

“This allows us to fully prioritise all outstanding orders. Thanks.”

In 2016 parents and school faced a bigger uniform problem when The Schoolwear Centre, now owned by Stevensons, could not cope with the amount of orders placed.

■ Have you been affected by the uniform problems? Email abigail.nicholson@archant.co.uk

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