Eltham School is slowly phasing in a new school uniform.

The school has introduced a black T-shirt with bold Maori designs which has been well received by the community and will help build pride in the school, says Eltham School principal Kathryn Pick.

The uniform will be brought in gradually over the next three years, with it being compulsory for junior students this year, middle students next year and the senior students the year after.

Kathryn says the idea of introducing the uniform came from parents and when the school community was surveyed on the issue, around half supported the idea. The parents who did not support the idea did so due to the cost.

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Because of this, the school is making it as affordable as possible and the only compulsory item will be the T-shirt which can be purchased from the school. This will be worn with plain black bottoms of the child's choice and the school is looking into sourcing plain black polar fleeces for the winter.

Kathryn says there has been lots of great feedback on the top and students felt they had ownership over it — having picked it out from three different designs.

"Sixty per cent of our students are Maori so we wanted to take a Maori design and really instil some pride in the school. The kids just love it and we have received a lot of positive feedback from the community."