Shop takes on Waltham Forest council over school uniform change

Victoria 2 Schoolwear owner Janet Cohen and her mother Victoria Samuel

Victoria 2 Schoolwear owner Janet Cohen and her mother Victoria Samuel

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Call me on 07768 507 739

A schoolwear supplier is taking the council to court claiming she is facing financial ruin because a school changed its uniform without warning.

Victoria 2 Schoolwear in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, has been stocking school uniforms in the borough since 1967.

In November 2012, owner Janet Cohen spent £24,000 on branded jumpers and polo shirts for pupils at Lammas School and Sports College.

She claims she sought assurances from the school beforehand and was told there were no plans to change the uniform.

But six months later, the school introduced a change the uniform and started to use a stockist in Newham.

Mrs Cohen said she has been left ‘heartbroken’.

She said: “I am just devastated; my whole year has been ruined.

“We used to do bits and pieces for Lammas College but we didn’t have a contract.

“In 2010 when their sole supplier shut down they called me and asked me to take it on.

“I took all of the precautions that I could to protect myself, I emailed them and asked them before I placed the order.”

Mrs Cohen found out about the change from her customers.

“They didn’t even tell me that they were changing their uniform, I heard rumours and checked it on the website,” She added.

“They said they were sorry but it was a risk of my business. What sort of school does this?”

“We have had parents giving us grief because now they have to go outside the area to get uniform. That wasn’t my decision.

“I would have come to a compromise with them over the existing stock had they not treated me so badly. I have been stabbed in the back.”

Victoria 2 Schoolwear will face Waltham Forest Council’s legal team during a civil suit on October 9 at Bow County Court. She is suing for £27k in compensation.

Waltham Forest Council which represents the school has been asked to comment.

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