Last week, the College Uniform Review and Re-Design Committee met for the third time with the focus on reviewing perspectives provided from the parent and staff focus groups based on the stakeholder survey feedback. These were held at the end of Term 1. Our student leaders held focus groups with the K-6 and 7-10 SRCs this week.
Feedback from Focus Groups
There has been strong and consistent feedback from parents, students and staff that the quality of the fabrics used in all items currently need significant change. Current fabrics aren’t creating comfort for students.
The style and cut of the uniform is felt to be outdated and needs to be more contemporary in meeting the needs of students for better fit, flexibility for movement and stretch.
Shirts, socks and ties have all been identified as problematic and needing a re-think. Maintaining white has been almost universally highlighted as too difficult to keep looking good and there has been a call for change.
With the constant changes in weather in our region, it is felt that the uniform does not cater for changes in temperature and managing the regular prospect of rain. There is strong consensus that the uniform needs to be strategically layered to enable students to manage both warm and cold temperatures.
The desire to develop complementary options within the range uniform has also emerged as important in providing further choice for students enabling preferences beyond what will be mandated as compulsory uniform items. The option of wearing shorts or long pants seems important and the possibility of a summer dress has been articulated.
There is also very clear consensus that students should not commence wearing the formal uniform until Year 3. It is anticipated that students will probably remain in a layered sport uniform for K-2.
The College Brand
Ms Elizabeth Delahoyde, Perm-A-Pleat’s Head of Design and Development has joined us for each meeting and will continue to listen, provide feedback and work on the design as we reflect and discuss options.
All stakeholders have agreed that first and foremost the brand needs to be maintained and driven consistently through the uniform for clear identity.
Elizabeth has highlighted that different styles, colours and shades of the crest and use of the DC logo have diluted our brand and distinctiveness over time. We are committed to retain the College crest and its colours across our uniform to ensure continuity of tradition and attain a brand integrity that will assure quality. The Perm-A-Pleat design team have been focusing on making sure the gold in the uniform is the right shade of gold instead of the bright yellow which currently translates to the rest of the colour palette.
From all the feedback we have received the current colours are well-liked, however how we utilise these into a distinctive and quality look suitable for both boys and girls is the next part of our process.
The maroon should be retained within the colour palette and the secondary colour of the yellow will still be in there but it will be the gold, true to our current crest colour. The discontinuation of the bright yellow is recommended. It is well-known that yellow is a really difficult colour to wear and does not enhance the appearance of the majority of our students.
Whilst maroon will continue as a key colour we need to introduce an additional base colour that works with it. It has been suggested that dark navy which is practical, smart-looking and easy to wear for both boys and girls be explored. Dark navy is less harsh than black, more contemporary and modern than industrial grey and could work very effectively for K-10.
The maroon shade will continue to provide a richness to the palette and as we have discussed the imperative to discontinue the white shirt, it has been suggested we move to a modern pale blue shirt. Pale blue wears well with maroon and navy and echoes back to our roots and heritage of the College which had a pale blue shirt for boys.
The design team have recommended a move away from the strong solo maroon in the blazer, polo shirt and rugby jumper. A move to a striped blazer with maroon tie is currently on the design table.
Review, discussions and discernment around the uniform continue as we move into developing design concepts and options for the College Uniform. Parents will be informed about transition phases about these as discussion has commenced on this for 2020, 2021 up to 2022.
Ms Beth Gilligan - College Principal