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Update – ESF-wide procurement of uniform / online uniform store from August 2020 onwards

Posted: December 6, 2019

For many years the DCPTA has provided uniform for DC students. However, changes to government policy on the operations of PTAs in schools mean that it will no longer be able to support this function in the same way. ESF schools have been working together to develop a new approach to the provision of uniform across all ESF schools. The approach that has been devised involves appointing a single uniform supplier across all schools, aiming to leverage the buying power of the whole foundation to offer the best possible deal for parents while supporting the quality of product we have come to expect.

HyperEngine has now been appointed as the ESF uniform supplier. Discovery College will move towards having new uniform supplied by HyperEngine from August 2020 onwards. What this change will mean:

  • HyperEngine’s catalogue will be accessible via online order, so parents will no longer purchase items from the uniform catalogue onsite at the PTA shop. Items will be able to be delivered directly to home addresses.
  • However, the PTA shop will remain in place on the DC campus. It will focus on selling stationery, and will provide a ‘fitting room’ facility with samples of uniform in various sizes, plus a computer terminal for if parents wish to place an order while present on site. The PTA shop will also continue to provide a space as a community hub, which is a vital part of the PTA’s role within the College community.
  • HyperEngine’s online store may feature additional shipping charges associated with DB residential locations, as is often the case with suppliers of various types delivering items into DB. However:
    • Overall, a full set of uniform items is expected to cost less with HyperEngine than our existing supplier, even with an additional shipping charge for those families who are resident in DB.
    • We are working with HyperEngine to explore some additional options for parents, for instance to link an online order to a pre-arranged ‘delivery day’ at DC, so that parents who are willing to wait for the next delivery day can pick their purchased items up on campus, for a reduced shipping cost. We will continue to update the community on what proves possible in this regard.
    • For some high frequency, smaller size items such as hats, the PTA shop may be able to continue to offer a stock rather than requiring online ordering. Again we will update you further as we firm up plans.

Because the uniform will be provided by a new supplier, it will feature some aesthetic changes. It will still be very recognisable as the DC uniform. But some key changes thus far include:

  • The school shirt will only be available in the ‘red’ variant, not the ‘grey’ variant. However, the overall look of the red school shirt will be maintained, including the horizontal / vertical lines for Primary / Secondary respectively
  • Hoodies will no longer be available, though other forms of cold weather outerwear will replace the function of the hoodie
  • The main uniform shorts / skorts will only be available in one colour, charcoal grey

The catalogue for August 2020 onwards is currently being finalised, with help from a steering group which features parent and student involvement. It will be published to the community in the coming months.

Until August 2020, the existing uniform will still be available via the PTA shop, with some price reductions occurring to help the PTA sell off its existing stock – so look out for some good bargains. There will be a significant transition period to allow the current uniform to be worn through by students who make purchases this year – the transition period is expected to run until August 2022 and the end-date will be subject to review nearer the time – so parents purchasing uniform over the next few months can be assured that their children will have the opportunity to wear it for a good amount of time before everyone needs to be using the new uniform only.

We will continue to update the community with further information regarding these changes. While we are glad to be able to fulfil the relevant policy requirements around provision of uniform, and also make use of the buying power of the ESF network, it is also important to acknowledge at this juncture the remarkable work of the DCPTA over many years in providing uniform to our community. Our PTA staff have worked extremely hard each year on this area of school life, ably supported by the PTA committee and an army of parent volunteers at key moments in the calendar. The PTA will continue to be involved with uniform discussions as we move forward.