This summary from the Board of Trustees is to provide parents and families with an outline around
the implementation for the upcoming changes to the Waiau Area School Uniform which will start
WAS has been looking at the overall school uniform for some time. The standard and makeup of
the Uniform is set by the schools Board of Trustees. The school made some minimal changes with
new school polo shirts introduced about two years ago. While the new uniform polo shirt has been
well received and popular it has had issues around wear and tear quality as it is 100% polyester. This
fabric is primarily designed as a sports shirt not a day in day out clothing item.
The overall uniform makeup has also had a number of handicaps. The school has two completely
separate uniforms, one for senior school (Black) and one for junior school (Navy). This results in a full
uniform change as children move through the year groups. The two uniforms also mean the school
lacks a certain oneness in presentation when Junior and Senior school are together at school events.
We have had continual feedback from parents and school staff about poor service through our
current supplier at the Warehouse. A number of the uniform items such as the school blazer are
unisex and off the shelf products that students complain fit poorly. There are a range of extra
uniform items the school has not had available and have been requested through the student voice,
such as a school softshell jackets, scarves, caps, shorts for senior boys and trousers for junior boys
etc. The school has a listed Sports and PE uniform which has not been followed for a number of
years with students using mufti when engaged in PE. Alongside this there have also been a number
of organic uniform developments with the Warriors jacket and hoodies being used by students
without being approved by the Board as general uniform.
With all these factors in mind the Board during 2019 have done a complete review of all our uniform
needs. Alongside seeking direct consultation feedback from families notified through our school
newsletter. The process has been done through a sub-committee process which has had Board of
Trustees members, Mr PB as Principal, Teacher representatives, Parent representative and also a
student representative. The sub-committee has provided feedback to the Board of Trustees and
they have approved the changes that will occur. We are excited about what will become the new
Waiau Area School uniform, it will be a big step up on our current range. It is important to note that
we will keep some of the good things trying to minimise changes where they were not needed. This
alongside the new uniform will provide the best options for the school and the students going
Some of the main changes will include a move towards a single uniform theme from junior to senior
school with a navy and red theme seeing the black uniform items being removed. There will be one
clear uniform transition from junior to senior school at Year 9 for boys and girls rather than changes
starting at Year 7 then again a further one at Year 11 for boys . The grey colour for boys shorts and
socks will be removed and go to navy. Junior girls will change from a plain navy skort to Napier
tartan culottes to match the Napier tartan skirt pattern worn by seniors.
A sports/PE uniform will be implemented in line with the existing items the school provides for inter
school competition events. A range of new items not previously available will be added to the
options. The school will also move to a new supplier, NZ Uniforms. They supply many schools across
NZ and have numbers of good systems in place including various payment options and being
accredited with Work and Income to supply uniforms directly to any families who can get assistance
grants through WINZ.
As a Board of Trustees we are well aware that a major transition like this places added financial
burdens on our families. We are taking a number of proactive steps to ensure the changes are
managed in a way to minimise the financial impact on families and facilitate a smooth transition.
This includes getting financial sponsorship from the new supplier to the school to help with the
transition. The board will be looking to disperse this as credit vouchers for parents when buying
through the new supplier. The board has also put aside a sum of money to assist the transition to try
and minimise impact on families. As a goodwill gesture to start with, the board, from this money
will be buying each student a Waiau PE shirt at the start of 2020 to get things underway for the
compulsory PE uniform.
Further Information will be provided in more detail as we start the school year in Term 1 2020. Term
1 will be an initial voluntary transition phase-in period that parents can start buying some of the new
items as they become available from the new supplier and as needed rather than spending money
on items that will be phased out.
Term Two is the target the Board have set to have all uniform items available and then the school
will start fully implementing the new uniform. Term Two will be the period where students are
expected to start moving from current old uniform items into new uniform items were it has
changed. There will be a transition period following the start of Term Two that the board will set,
once that ends old uniform will no longer be allowed at school.
Most importantly for parents is that term one Waiau Uniform is still as it was and can be purchased
through the normal supplier at the Warehouse. That said we are well aware that parents will be
keen to buy the new uniform as it becomes available rather than old uniform that will be outdated
from term two. The current boy’s socks which are provided from the school office at $10 a pair will
from now on until the end of term two be sold at a 50% discount or $5 a pair for anyone who needs
them. We will be working as quickly as we can with the supplier to get various uniform items
available through Term One.
At this point the new Napier culottes for girls are available and can be ordered through the office,
they have a number of sample sizes to try on for fit. In due course the new supplier will provide the
school with a uniform sizing rack. This will have the full uniform range at the school to make it easy
for families to decide what they need to order. The ordering process can then be done through a
link on our school website to the uniform supplier and the items will be sent out.
With the new focus by the school around uniforms and changes, the Board will be directing the
school Principal and staff to ensure a much higher expectation on the correct use of uniform by
students in 2020. A new school Uniform Policy has been developed and will be available for
parents if they wish to look at it.
The Board have a vision to see Waiau Area School develop into a high functioning rural school that
provides quality education across various educational pathways. Part of that requires the school
taking pride in itself, presenting a professional image for both school and the community. We see
these changes as working towards that goal.
As with any school endeavour, it is a partnership between school and families and we appreciate
your support in helping us attain this goal. The students have been asking for changes and we are
pleased to be in this position now. Thank you for your patience.
In closing we are waiting for a story board display from the new supplier which we hope to have
prior to the start of school. Once received it will be put up on our school Facebook and website
showing exactly what the new uniform range will look like across the school.
Waiau Area School