A new law will enforce schools to make their uniforms cheaper and more accessible for parents.
Lifestyle and family blogger Laura Jones says she has been left “overwhelmed” at times by how much school uniforms can cost.
Mum to 10-year-old twins Ethan and Oliver says for some families “after the wages come in and the council tax, all the bills and your food there’s not much left to spend on anything else”.
Research from The Children’s Society shows that the average yearly cost of school uniforms for a primary school child is £315 and £337 for a child attending secondary school.
Many of these costs can come from schools insisting that particular uniforms must be branded with their logo. However, Laura questions the need to have multiple items branded.
AUDIO: LAURA JONES’ INTERVIEW
From the start of the next academic year (2022-2023), any uniform that requires the school’s logo should be kept to a minimum cost and parents must be allowed to buy from High Street shops.
This new guidance also encourages schools to make second-hand clothing available to parents to buy. Some schools in Nottingham have already started this initiative by having pre-loved sales to help this issue.
“if you’re stuck in clothing poverty, it’s a long term issue, not a short term issue”
Killisick Junior School’s Head Teacher Lindsay Clark says that their pre-loved sale is a “vital resource” for parents. Each item is priced at £1 which “make these items accessible to every family”.
Victoria Clewer, a mum of two children at Killisick Junior School, praises the school’s initiative “I’m lucky as I can hand school uniform down from one to the other then I can donate them to the school for the sale rail. It is good to be able to reuse and then pass on uniform to be used again.”
Matthew Cooke, from Nottingham clothing donation scheme Sharewear, explains how for many parents being stuck in clothing poverty is a “long term issue” and is not something that can be solved overnight.
VIDEO: SHAREWEAR TRUSTEE, MATTHEW COOKE, EXPLAINS THE MAIN ISSUE OF CLOTHING POVERTY
The Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi believes that school uniforms should not be a “barrier to pupils accessing education” and hopes it will give students “a real source of pride”.
School uniforms should be affordable for all families. The cost of a uniform should never be a barrier to getting a good education.
— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) April 29, 2021
The impact School Uniform costs had on families in 2020:
- Choice of school for the child: 500,000
- Child sent home for wearing the incorrect uniform: 500,000
- Cut back on food and other essential items: 1,000,000
- Getting into debt: 800,000
*Survey was out of 1,200,000 families, from The Children’s Society report ‘The Wrong Blazer 2020: Time for action on school uniform costs’, published 1/3/2020.
By Daisy Smith