Home' Independence : Independence Vol 34 No 2 Oct 2009 Contents 80 Independence Vol 34 No 2 Oct 09
Like any organisation where numbers are
important, a point of difference is needed
to attract attention. Schools constantly
face the challenge of gaining enrolments
and there are a number of factors that
set one school above the others, the
most visible of which is the uniform.
A student in school uniform acts as a
brand ambassador for the school, so
it is important the uniform reflects the
values of the school and is worn correctly.
A uniform that is appealing, attractive
and smart will act as a drawcard for
prospective students and their families.
The uniform as a marketing tool
Worn with pride by students, a school
uniform can act as a powerful indicator
of a school's standing within the
community. The wearers are responsible
for spreading a positive message about
the school, encouraging others to aspire
to wear the uniform themselves.
The importance of marketing when it
comes to school promotion is a concept
understood by both St Scholastica's
College in Glebe Point, NSW, and
St Aloysius College in Adelaide, SA.
Both all-girls' schools understood
all aspects of the school's brand,
including the uniform, had to work
together to promote the institution.
Case study: St Scholastica's College
St Scholastica's introduced a new
uniform in 2007, aware a change was
needed after 17 years with its previous
uniform. Principal Loretto Richardson
said all stakeholders for the school
were not satisfied with the old uniform.
'There was a general dissatisfaction
with the uniform style from the parents
and students, who felt it was outdated
and parents wanted a better quality
of cloth,' Ms Richardson said.
Since the uniform style was updated,
the institution has been viewed in a
more positive light. 'A lot of teachers
remark about people's comments,
saying the students look smart and
wear their uniform with pride,' Ms
Richardson said. 'It reflects positively
on the school and students, and it
has made a difference to people's
impression of the school,' she added.
Students and community members also
gave the updated uniform top marks.
'The girls have a sense of pride in their
new uniforms. Our new uniform is high
quality and gives us a more corporate
look,' Ms Richardson explained, saying
people outside the St Scholastica's
College community liked the style and
said the students looked very smart.
When changing a uniform for 820
students, Ms Richardson said it was
understood the process would take time
and the College allowed up to three
years. Initially students and parents were
surveyed on what they would like in a
new uniform and a Design & Technology
student collated the results and created
some designs as part of a project. A
number of uniform suppliers, including
Ranier Design Group, were invited to
present at a St Scholastica's P&F meeting.
Afterwards the committee selected
Ranier for a number of reasons: it was
a local business, made an impressive
presentation and reassured parents the
uniforms made by the group were not
created in exploitative conditions.
Finalised designs were shown to
students, parents, ex-students, sisters
and teachers and samples made up and
modelled at a fashion show during
St Scholastica's 2007 speech night.
'Everyone was delighted with the designs
and this gave us a good platform to
launch from,' Ms Richardson said.
St Scholastica's planned to introduce its
new uniform gradually over two years,
but many students wore it immediately.
The transition process has been very
smooth. When it came to buying the
new uniform, Ms Richardson said
Ranier had been very supportive,
encouraging parents to buy the whole
uniform, including socks. Ranier also
made extra uniforms to suit smaller
or larger girls, which helped make the
transition inclusive for all students.
Adopting a new uniform has
been a positive experience for the
school. 'We had a long time to
bring it to fruition and it has been
a success,' Ms Richardson said.
Case study: St Aloysius College
St Aloysius launched its new uniform at
the beginning of 2008, to coincide with
Principal Sister Judith Redden celebrating
25 years at the school, as well as a $10
million investment in building works, new
website and updated marketing material.
Deputy Principal Christine Simpson
said 2008 was a big year for her school
and a new uniform tied in with the
other important events. 'It needed to be
updated because it hadn't been changed
for 25 years. We wanted a new look for
the whole school,' she explained. The
girls had also been complaining about the
old uniform's skirt being itchy, the blazer
unfashionable and the top shapeless.
St Aloysius then invited Ranier Design
Group to meet with its leadership team,
and Ms Simpson explained that 'We
didn't want to have a boring, tired
uniform'. Ranier showed the St Aloysius
leadership team uniform designs and
discussed the school colours and history.
The leadership team then met with
students to discuss new uniform designs
and choose a final style. Comments
on the new uniform were drawn from
an article in the school newsletter and
a storyboard display in the foyer.
The new summer uniform was
introduced for all 1000 students at the
beginning of the 2008 school year, with
the new winter uniform introduced in
Term 2. 'It has been a great facelift for
the school and the girls are wearing it
better than the old uniform. This way it
looks clean and crisp,' Ms Simpson said.
'The experience has been a great
improvement. You have to get it right
because it's going to last 20 to 25 years
and we don't want to do it again,'
Ms Simpson said. 'Ranier has been
fantastic -- really professional, really
terrific to work with,' she added.
Set your school apart with an outstanding uniform
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