June 29, 2022
Case study

Changing uniform at Barnard Castle School

Schoolblazer was approached to tender for Barnard Castle School’s uniform in the summer of 2020. The school were unhappy with their previous uniform offering; staff, students and parents felt it didn’t embody the pride that runs throughout the school, nor provide good value for money. It was also a good moment to effect change: the pandemic, though it hugely disrupted everyday life at the school, meant the uniform could be changed with minimal upset as most students had already outgrown the old style.

 

After a thorough tender process, Schoolblazer was chosen thanks to the company’s deep understanding of Barnard Castle School’s ethos. A traditional yet forward-thinking school, they wanted to honour their history while creating a contemporary look and feel. Schoolblazer were also commended for their commitment to sustainability, online service and professionalism of their operation.

 

Schoolblazer worked closely with the school to agree branding and decide what the new uniform could look like. The school wanted a modern take on their traditional uniform, with a range of choices for pre-prep, prep and senior students alike. The design team at Schoolblazer took the brief and put together three options, which were presented to a focus group of parents, pupils and teaching staff. Adjustments were made based on this feedback. Final design decisions were made in the Lent term and the new online shop was launched in the summer of 2021.

 

One of the challenges involved in the process was the inclusion of tweed jackets. These have historically been worn by students at Barnard Castle, but didn’t align with the contemporary vision. Pre-prep and prep students therefore wear a bright blue blazer with the Barney crest, while senior students have a more traditional tweed blazer; this does not feature the crest, which allows it to also be worn to non-school events.

 

The blazers are paired with a smart and subtle blue and brown plaid design in a range of styles – pinafores, skirts, shorts and trousers - to allow for freedom of choice, particularly for girls who may feel restricted by a single skirt option. House identity is expressed through ties for boys and badges for girls.

 

Schoolblazer Co-Founder Robin Horsell says, “It was a pleasure to work with Barnard Castle and bring their vision of an updated uniform to life. Feedback from staff, students and parents has been excellent and we couldn’t be happier with the new uniform.”

 

Headmaster, Tony Jackson, says, “From the first meeting with Robin and his team we were immediately reassured that the potentially stressful process of uniform change would be in very safe hands. They combined professionalism, excitement, creativity and fun in equal measure and we couldn’t be happier with both the outcome and the way it has been delivered.”

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