Lack of student rep would not have altered uniform vote

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2090

Lack of a student trustee would not have changed the decision of the Nayland College Board to introduce uniform for it’s year 11 and 12 students.

Former student trustee Jack Bradley, 17, left the school on June 24 after securing enrollment in a counseling and social work course at NMIT. Because of his departure the board was left with no student representation at vote to introduce uniform on Tuesday night.

Jack says the announcement was “oddly timed” as he had only left the school a week prior to the announcement but says he believes it is probably a coincidence.

He says he knew discussions around a new uniform policy were taking place but did not expect an outcome so soon.

“I was pretty mad about it to be honest. It probably wasn’t the case but I feel that they might have waited until I left to do it,” he says.

“It was always a hypothetical ‘we might do this eventually’ kind of thing. I always expressed that it was sort of against the point of Nayland, all about individuality and that sort of thing.”

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Nayland College principal Daniel Wilson says he would have preferred Jack to have been able to attend the meeting but his presence wouldn’t have swayed the vote.

“There’s seven or eight board members and it is a majority at the end of the day. There was certainly no agenda by the school or the board to whip it in because Jack’s no longer there. It had been on the agenda all the way though.”

The board made their decision based on a number of surveys and consultations designed to gauge the view of the wider Nayland community.

Daniel says the decision-making process had been in the public eye for a very long time. One hundred parents from Nayland College’s main feeder school, Broadgreen Intermediate, were asked for their opinions along with parents, staff and students at the subject selection evening last year.

He says uniform was one factor parents sitting on the fence took into account when selecting a school.

“There was some really telling information in that survey around parents who made up their mind not to send their student to Nayland and why they had chosen that.”

The school also conducted a uniform survey of 306 students last year.

“There was only a minority of students in that survey that wanted to have a uniform however the comments in that survey were quite telling around the students that did want to move to uniform and the reasons around that,” Daniel says.

Chairperson of the board, Tracy East, says it was unfortunate Jack hadn’t turned up to a lot of meetings and it was “unfortunate timing” the vote was held after he left.

“He’s certainly been privy to all of this information.”

She says the school will be looking to elect a new student trustee in Jack’s place.

“We’re following process with that, an election will have to happen with that.”

Nayland’s year 11 students were allowed to wear mufti since the 1990s. Year 12 and 13 students did not wear uniform for a number of years prior.

The school will introduce the new uniform rules starting with the year 11s in 2017 and then year 12s in 2018. A review of the year 13 mufti regulation will also come under review for 2018.