The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Malcolm Arnold Academy

At Malcolm Arnold Academy we seek to broaden the horizons of each and every one of our students, helping them to achieve at the highest level both academically and in their talents outside the classroom.


First impressions are very important, and we expect students’ clothing and appearance always to be smart and well presented both inside and outside the academy.

Our students wear their uniform proudly, with shirts tucked in and looking smart.  We work hard to eradicate fashionable uniform trends, such as having large gaps between trousers and short trainer socks, short skirts, dyed hair, piercings.  These, we realise, seem minor to many, but it is worth reminding ourselves that the purpose of uniform is to remove hierarchy, difference and status as much as we can for our students.  Whilst ever students can raise their status over others with minor amendments to uniform (blazer sleeves rolled up, skirt shorter than allowed, several piercings) then we allow a culture to develop where appearance is an important part of who students are.  The entire reason for having a uniform in a school is to remove that culture.  In a great school, students do not focus on what another person looks like, they are much more focused on their personality and character.  This is especially important in the world we currently live in where social media constantly reinforces messages to children that their status is heavily tied up in how they look.

We believe that tackling this culture in school will support pupils with their mental health, and this is why such minor infringements of rules are so important to us – it isn’t because we think that having a short skirt, or brightly coloured hair, or several piercings affects the way a student learns, but it is because we understand that it is an attempt to be different, to raise themselves in status (often with unintended consequences) and reinforces a culture where students feel that they have to look a certain way. 

With this in mind, we would like to request that parents support us in reinforcing the rule that trousers should meet socks, and the socks should be black ankle socks, not shorter trainer socks please.  It is fashionable to have short trousers and a big gap between trouser and sock, and the bigger the gap, the more the student is attempting to establish themselves as different to others.  The uniformity of uniform is very important, as it levels the playing field for everyone.  No-one looks cooler, richer, trendier or more rebellious than anyone else, then the attention can be focused on what lovely people we are.

Uniform requirements and dress code for all academy students in Years 7-11


  • Navy blue blazer with gold trim and academy crest Ø Navy blue sleeveless sweater with academy crest Ø Black suit trousers (these must be standard school type, not jeans or chinos)
  • White collared shirt (standard school type, not polo shirts)
  • Navy blue tie with gold stripe
  • Black socks, calf length (not ankle or trainer socks)
  • Black polished shoes (not trainers or rubber-toed shoes. If laced, black laces)


  • Navy blue blazer with gold trim and academy crest
  • Navy blue sleeveless sweater with academy crest
  • Either Black skirt (knee length, box pleats or straight, no slits – standard school type) or Black suit trousers (standard school type, not fitted or leggings). Trousers should be full length and reach the shoes.
  • White revere collar blouse (long or short sleeved)
  • Navy blue tie with gold stripe
  • Navy blue hijab with academy crest
  • Black socks (not over the knee or ankle/trainer socks) or thick plain black tights
  • Black polished shoes (not trainers or rubber-toed shoes. If laced, black laces) 


A wristwatch may be worn. No more than one small stud in the lobe of each ear may be worn. No other jewellery is permitted. Putting 'spacers' in or plasters over piercings is not acceptable.


Extreme styles are not acceptable. Hair should be of a natural colour. If hair is over shoulder length then it should be tied back for all practical lessons or where health and safety requires it. Shaving any part of the head, including tramlines, is not accepted, nor is the use of gel to create unusual styles.


Light make-up may be worn to give a natural look.

Other Items

Sweatshirts and other items of leisure wear such as denim jackets and baseball caps are not allowed inside the academy.

All uniform and possessions must be clearly marked with the student's name.


All students must bring the following into equipment to class:

  • Planner
  • Pen (and spare)
  • Pencil (and spare)
  • 30cm ruler
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Protractor
  • Compass
  • Calculator
  • Students may also find it useful to have a dictionary.
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