“Parents and girls are absolutely delighted with the convenience of our new shop and the time it saves, being here on site. John Cheatle Group supported us through all the steps of changing all items of uniform and the girls returned in September looking extremely smart. ”
Independent GDST School
"We had a uniform review two years ago and John Cheatle were very helpful in setting that up. From it, our PE kit has completely changed, and in uniforms, we have given pupils the flexibility to combine old and new styles until September 2012, giving plenty of time for the changeover. John Cheatle also created a school unifom shop for us on site that they operate, employing the lady who used to run our second-hand shop. We used to run the school shop ourselves, and then used a local supplier, but found it difficult to retain control of everything and now communication is fast, any niggles are sorted out promptly, and parents are happy. It's been brilliant for us."
Independent GDST School
"Rawcliffes' shop in the town centre has sold school uniform on our behalf for many years. Any questions or requests are always dealt with very professionally and promptly by the Rawcliffes staff. The vouchers they provided for school sweatshirts and cardigans were very popular, too, when we amalgamated recently with another school and a new uniform was introduced. The feedback we're getting shows our parents are pretty happy with the way it works."
WOODHOUSE GROVE SCHOOL, APPERLEY BRIDGE, WEST YORKSHIRE
A series of challenges, solved
Woodhouse Grove is a highly respected independent school with pupils from nursery age up to sixth form, and it has used the experience of the John Cheatle Group to great effect for its school uniform requirements.
Woodhouse Grove finance director David Ainsworth said the relationship was a strong one, as Rawcliffes (one of the John Cheatle brands), had solved a number of challenges the school had been facing three years ago when it reviewed its school uniforms.
“We were running our own school shop, but finding the administration increasingly onerous, and as we were just one school, we found negotiating with clothing manufacturers a challenge at times as we had little muscle. Now, we actually have no on-site school shop, but an online service plus the two retail outlets Rawcliffes runs in Leeds and Bradford. So parents – who are often situated in these areas – can take their children to try things on, but also buy online if that is their preference.”
The school was founded in 1812 by the Methodist Conference for the education of the sons of ministers and today welcomes pupils and staff of all denominations.
John Cheatle commercial director Tim Hallas said it remained important for parents to be able to take their children for a fitting, particularly for their first school uniform:
“The experienced staff at our shops are able to ensure uniforms fit properly yet still allow for essential growing room. A pupil’s first fitting for a complete uniform is an important event, and not one that can easily be done online. We are delighted to be able to provide a flexible service to Woodhouse Grove, including exclusive evening shop openings just for the school.”
David Ainsworth said the system had taken the headache away from the school: “The flexibility of this system has transformed the school uniform part of our provision. It gives us the best of both worlds and benefits parents and pupils too.”
The John Cheatle Group is the largest supplier of schoolwear to the independent schools sector, running school shops, retail outlets, internet and mail-order facilities for over 500 independent and maintained schools in the UK and elsewhere.
John Cheatle is based in Leicester, with retail outlets throughout the North and North-West, school shops all over the UK from Bath to Blyth, Cardiff to Cambridge, and a highly efficient online service. It is still a family-owned business, and was established in 1937.
"We opened a dedicated on-site school shop with the John Cheatle Group about 18 months ago and it's been invaluable for parents who previously had to travel much further afield for school uniform items. They're very happy with it. Any small issues are immediately addressed by a helpful team, and parents no longer have to buy in bulk for a couple of seasons in order to save their travelling time."
Independent GDST School
“We are always looking for ways to support our parents. By finding a suitable space on site to create a new school shop, we were able to significantly reduce distances driven to Leicester and Oadby, to purchase school uniforms. We took the opportunity to bring together all items of necessary school and sports equipment and to house our ‘good as new’ shop alongside the school uniform facility. Parents now enjoy a ‘one stop shop’ which is certainly proving far more convenient. We have had very positive feedback since opening in March 2011 and are very pleased with the ideas, support and pace of the John Cheatle team ”
Independent Girl's School
“We are very happy with the service we receive from John Cheatle and the school shop they operate on site. When it comes to parents it is very difficult to please all the people all of the time, but the school shop is not far off! Two years ago we carried out a parental attitude survey and as a result of some comments we set up a School Uniform Working Party. It is chaired by the Principal with representatives from school staff, governors, parents and John Cheatle. We use this as a means of agreeing changes and improvements as well as dealing with any minor operating issues faced by the school shop. Choosing the layout, design and logo for the new school bag to replace the old infant school’s satchel is a recent example.”