Schoolwear Association appoints new executive chairman
New chair states “every child is worth the uniform they wear”.
By Laura Turner
7 May 2015
David Burgess is the new executive chairman of the Schoolwear Association (SA), while the new vice chair is Christine Campbell, who has a wealth of schoolwear retail experience.
Burgess is the fourth person to chair the trade body, which was set up in 2006 to give a voice to the industry and to campaign for high-quality, school-specific uniform from independent British manufacturers, suppliers and retailers.
Until recently, Burgess was MD of school uniform and sportswear company David Luke, a position now held by his daughter Kathryn Shuttleworth. Burgess retains a position in the company as executive chairman – a role that allows him more time to devote to the SA, which he will lead with the message, “Every child deserves a good-quality school-specific uniform that doesn’t have to cost parents a fortune”.
“I am absolutely passionate about this industry and I am looking forward to stepping up to my role,” says Burgess, who also held the position of Schoolwear Association chair in 2011. “I am eager to get more involved and build on the work that Matthew Easter the outgoing chair and the association have done over the past two years.
“It is our role to be the voice for the schoolwear industry and to make sure everyone understands how our industry works, and how important it is that children have access to quality uniforms from businesses that are experts in the field.
“This is fundamentally important for our children’s education and wellbeing. We know from research that students who wear school specific uniform are better behaved and that a distinctive uniform creates a sense of belonging and improved learning. Almost all teachers and parents agree but we are still faced with competition from other stores offering cheap, inferior quality, generic uniform.”
Thanking outgoing chair Matthew Easter and vice chair Alex Gani for their work over the past two years, Burgess continues. “There is still a lot to be done, including our continued work with schools and external bodies to communicate what we do, what we stand for, and the standards that schools and parents can expect from the specialist and professional members of the Schoolwear Association.
“We expect this year to be a very busy one, with lots to do for our industry,” he continues. “We already have exciting plans in place to campaign, lobby, inform and educate everyone with an interest in the subject about the importance of quality school uniform. We believe every child is worth it, and we are committed to making sure our industry works with government, schools, charities and everyone involved to make sure every child is properly clothed for school every day.”
Established in 2006, the Schoolwear Association is a voluntary body of members including suppliers, retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers that collectively clothe more than three quarters of Britain’s school children. Its Code of Practice requires members to ensure that garments are produced and supplied in an ethical manner both in terms of employment and attitude to the environment.
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