NEW WELSH government guidelines on school uniforms will not have an effect on plans to change how pupils at Haverfordwest High VC School dress.

Welsh Government announced new statutory guidelines on uniform will be introduced in September, which includes advice that schools should keep clothing as cheap as possible and should be gender neutral.

“Governing bodies will be expected to consider ways of keeping down the costs of uniforms,” said a statement from Welsh Government released last week.

“These could include stipulating basic items and colours but not styles, meaning items could be bought from more than one outlet. Schools will be expected to consider whether school logos are strictly necessary and if they should apply to just one item of uniform or provided free of charge,” it added.

A school’s uniform policy would also be expected to be gender neutral. For example, trousers would not be described as a boys item.

Unlike the previous 2011 guidance, which was non-statutory, schools are now required to have regard for the new guidelines.

Haverfordwest High VC School currently plans to introduce a new, regulation skirt, embroidered with the school’s initials.

Plans to change the uniform policy originally included trousers and shorts embroidered with the school initials too, but these were dropped after discussion with parents in June.

A spokesperson for the school said the governing body had considered a draft of the new guidance when deciding on the new uniform policy, but said: “it still remains 'guidance'.”

In regard to a new guideline which says the school logo should only be placed on one uniform item, the spokesperson added: “We do not feel the initials constitute another logo - it is merely as quick way of assisting the school in identifying that [the new skirt] is compliant with the school policy.”

The school has a support system for any families facing financial difficulty with purchasing the uniform, on top of the assistance available from Welsh Government and PCC.