Students at Tonypandy Community College have been taking an active lead in the direction of the school this year, and started with their uniform….

Back in September 2013, the annual Student Council election campaign got off to a brilliant start, with candidates producing rousing manifestos stating what they would change about the school. Whilst performing their speeches to their peers, they won support on a number of issues, from improving the PE changing rooms to changing the uniform. Since the election, the elected members have been an incredible success.

The 2013/14 Student Council ran a series of consultations with the entire school, asking their opinions on what uniform they would like to wear, and the important considerations. This included cost, quality, potential bullying, and the smartness of students. The student-led incentive produced some spectacular results. Whereas staff thought they would shun a smarter uniform, students said that they wanted to feel more responsible and wear a smarter uniform they could be proud of. Luke Robinson, a year 7 student said; “I want my uniform to look smart. We asked every single student in school and made sure we had everyone’s opinions.”

Students took the results, which voted overwhelmingly for a change in the uniform, and presented their ideas to the governors, along with uniform samples and reasons explaining why they had chosen specific items.

Student Voice member Abbie Eveleigh-Williams said: “We have opted for a clip-on tie. This is to prevent any bullying, but also to ensure we do our top buttons up and the uniform looks far smarter.”

The students wrote up their findings, and Sixth Form students Dewi Harris and Abbie Eveleigh-Williams presented this to the board of governors. The presentation and process was so efficient and successful that the governors approved the proposals unanimously, and the uniform consultation has gone out to parents, and will end on Friday 7th March.