A secondary school in Longford town has defended its decision to introduce crested hoodies for all students. Scoil Mhuire, which started back to school late last week, told the Longford Leader that the decision was made in consultation with parents and that it was the right decision despite the current strained economic environment.
“Moyne Community School already had it and we decided to introduce it on a voluntary basis here, for the time being,” said Scoil Mhuire principal Paul Costello. “We are trying to create uniformity rather than students wearing just anything.” The hoodie costs approximately €40.
St. Mel’s College has also introduced the new hoodie to their school uniform but were not available for comment when contacted by the Leader.
In Moyne Community School, principal Des Cullen defended the decision to introduce the hoodie last year. “It’s been very good. The majority have it and we have been selling it directly which allows us to do stage payments.”
According to Mr Cullen the hoodie is made of such quality as to ensure that in most cases it should last two years.
“When you take into account trends and what the students would otherwise be wearing, we believe that this is less expensive,” he said. “For the most part our school uniform is generic and really just the jacket and the jumper having the crest.”
Despite these assurances by the schools, the Longford Branch of St. Vincent de Paul remain sceptical as to how much continued pressure parents can afford to be exposed to.
“There has been a definite increase in the number of people calling in and requesting assistance,” said Cyril Hussey, President of St. Mel’s Conference, Longford. “We have received a lot of complaints about the uniform and how people should be able to buy a crest and iron it on. Every little helps and this would certainly help. At the moment parents have to go to specific shops. This is a heavy imposition.”
According to Mr Hussey, the education system as it stands is “very disappointing”.
“It’s free education in name only any more. Payments (Back to School allowances) have been coming in late from the Department and this has been making parents anxious too,” he said. For further information on St. Vincent de Paul and the assistance they may be able to offer, visit www.svp.ie.
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