As has previously been communicated, the School is intending to begin a review of its student uniform.

Wearing our Walford uniform unifies our student community. It enhances students’ sense of belonging and amplifies School spirit, instilling pride in our School and in being a Walford student. Importantly, a uniform allows students to engage in their learning and activities on an equal footing.

In Walford’s 130 years, the School’s uniform has changed over time, from the white blouses and navy skirts and tunics of the early 1900s, to the cream sports blazers of the 1920s, the introduction of pale blue items in the 1940s, and the minidress of the late 1960s. The range of hats, from straw boaters to a navy velour hat and tartan beret, can be seen in the School Shop. The current uniform was introduced in 1982 after a uniform review in 1979, which had as its aim to ensure a uniform ‘suitable for a modern school’.

2023, our 130th birthday year, 44 years since the last uniform review, and 41 years since the last significant change in Walford’s uniform, presents an opportunity to once again consider how our uniform might be improved, or even reimagined, for our students and their current world.

Any review of uniform needs to be responsive to the needs of our community, especially our students who wear it each day. Walford students and old scholars are accomplished and determined girls and women of intellect, action and service. Cost, care, comfort, safety, practicality and inclusivity are all aspects of a uniform that empowers each of our students to feel and achieve their best, in a way appropriate to their identities and daily activities.

As a first step towards a uniform review, students, parents and staff have been invited to respond to a survey on the Walford school uniform. The survey, which can be accessed here, is intended to generate perspectives around the aspects of Walford’s uniform that are working, those that could be improved or rethought, and how the uniform could better serve the needs, bodies, lives, activities, and identities, of our students.

We are at the very beginning of a considered and consultative uniform review process that will take some time. I look forward to the feedback generated through this survey, which will inform our next steps.

Deborah Netolicky