Blazers, shirts and ties to make a return at Pilton.

SCHOOL’S out for summer, but Pilton Community College pupils will be returning to classes in a smart new uniform in September.

The college has met with little of the resistance or protests seen in Totnes this month; instead, blazers, shirts and ties are being reintroduced following students’ requests to smarten up the school’s image.

The college will also be introducing a new house system to encourage competition and celebrate achievement across the school.

Year 7 and Year 10 students will be the first to don the new uniform, with the old white polo shirts and blue sweatshirts, introduced in 2004, being phased out during the next few years.

Principal Louise Miller-Marshall, said: “We did this in response to the students’ wishes and we hope it will help them to have a real sense of pride in themselves and the school.

“They felt the old uniform was not smart enough and didn’t set the right tone when coming to school.

“One of the students told me it felt like she was going out to do the gardening.”

Ms Miller-Marshall said a handful of parents had written to the school opposing the change, mainly on cost grounds, but support was available to those families struggling to pay for the uniform.

“We’ve surveyed parents and held consultation evenings and the vast majority of parents are very positive about the new uniform,” she said.

The new uniform is being supplied by Barnstaple firm Samuel Daw and Co, following a tendering process.

“They were the most affordable and were committed to working in partnership with the college,” added Ms Miller-Marshall.

As well as royal blue, the new school tie will incorporate a house colour, either red (Atlantis); green (Discovery); blue (Endeavour); or yellow (Voyager).

Each house will have a junior leadership team, including a house captain, as well as various other leaders, mentors and representatives.

A new head boy and head girl will be appointed by the principal from the house captains.

Pupils will be able to gain house points for their individual work and behaviour as well as from group competitions.

Ms Miller-Marshall said: “We feel the new house system will help to develop a greater sense of belonging and identity for every student in our school and will encourage more competition in sport, creative and academic areas of academy life and will be part of our celebration of achievement.”