Parents at King Edward’s Witley let the sewing room take the strain!
Whilst parents across the nation may be heaving a huge sigh of relief that the annual chore of sorting out the children’s uniforms for the return to school is over, spare a thought for Mrs Pat Enticknap, Sewing Room Manager and her staff at King Edward’s Witley.
Mrs Enticknap and her team have the responsibility for fitting the uniforms for the entire new intake of pupils starting at King Edward’s, which includes the fresh cohort of year 7 pupils – both boarders and day pupils, as well as any children joining the school in other year groups. For the year 7 intake alone, this represents sewing on thousands of name labels onto each item of uniform required by each pupil commencing their secondary education at King Edward’s.
“I’ve been working at the school for 26 years, starting as a Sewing Room Assistant, so I’d like to think my team has got the whole back to school uniform routine fairly fine-tuned by now! Our new boarders will arrive at the school on the 4th September and we work very hard to fit every child with their uniform – we’re so organised that it now only takes 15 minutes per pupil. Our day pupils tend to come in during the summer holiday to get their new uniforms sorted out but clearly, with a number of children arriving from overseas, this is not an option for the boarders. Every item is labelled by hand, to detail the child’s name and boarding house.” says Mrs Enticknap.
With each child receiving two pairs of every item on the official uniform list, and accepting that not every child is the same height/proportion, there are inevitably also a number of alterations that need to be made before the uniform passes Mrs Enticknap’s exacting standards. “I won’t allow any pupil to be wearing a uniform that I wouldn’t be proud to put on my own children” she says.
Along with sparing parents the stress associated with the fitting of any new uniforms and sewing in the dreaded name tags, the sewing room also takes care of any repairs to clothing throughout the school year. Pupils are able to pop in to see Mrs Enticknap during term time to discuss any problems and all repairs are generally completed within just one day.
In addition to taking responsibility for the smart appearance of 410 pupils at King Edward’s, Mrs Enticknap and her Sewing Room Assistants extend their expert repairs and alterations service to staff and members of the local community.
“I love my job here and derive great pleasure from seeing the children leaving the sewing room looking so well turned out, in keeping with the high personal presentation standards set by the school. I know that parents feel a real sense of relief that someone is always on hand to check that their child is wearing clothing that fits well and never looks scruffy or in need of repair. As a result, King Edward’s Witley pupils can take pride in their uniform and learn to appreciate the importance of good grooming from an early age” continues Mrs Enticknap.