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Law could see costly school uniforms banned

PUBLISHED: 15:30 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 04 February 2020

A new law could stop schools from insisting parents buy branded uniform if it is passed. Photo: Getty Images

A new law could stop schools from insisting parents buy branded uniform if it is passed. Photo: Getty Images

Chris Schmidt

Proposals for a law which could stop schools from requiring parents to purchase expensive branded school uniforms will be put forward next week.

A new law could stop schools from insisting parents buy branded uniform if it is passed. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphotoA new law could stop schools from insisting parents buy branded uniform if it is passed. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With branded uniform items costing up to three times as much as basic school shirts and trousers from supermarkets, Labour MP Mike Amesbury plans to put forward the bill in the hopes it relieves some of the financial pressure on parents.

If it is approved it could save families hundreds of pounds over their child's school life.

Many of our readers welcomed the proposal, saying that the expense of branded uniforms was a significant financial burden.

Juliette Will-Shacklock said: "I will have to purchase school uniforms for my twins when they start school in September and to be frank I'm dreading how much it will cost."

Maryana Smith said: "Prices for branded items are ridiculous.

"As a single parent to two children, I struggle to afford it."

Jessica Webb said: "It isn't expensive for me while my children are at primary school, however I'm dreading high school where every clothing item is branded including the PE kit.

"It's unfair that one company can have the monopoly on school uniform."

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And Ashley Driver said: "I would rather buy and sew on some logos which could be taken off and put on new clothes...kids grow too fast to make the set uniform cost effective."

Many people backed the idea of buying non-branded clothes and sewing on uniform patches, with Sara Waterman adding: "Iron on patches or sewn patches are more affordable and still leave the kids identifiable."

Ben Bridgeman agreed with the idea but not the means of achieving it.

He said: "Getting rid of branded school uniform will promote competition and thus bring prices down in theory.

"But to use parliamentary time to change it to law is woefully misguided and has a large detriment to society where there are much more pressing matters that require MPs time."

Neil Corbett defended schools insisting on branded uniforms saying: "If uniforms rules stopped being violated such as skirts far to short and trousers far too tight, schools wouldn't need to insist that it's bought through them."

Charity School-Home support, which helps parents afford uniforms, warned in the run-up to the 2019 to 2020 academic year that it had seen a spike in requests.

Chief executive Jaine Stannard said: "Last year we were spending the most on beds, bedding, furniture and other essential household items. Now, we get the most requests for school uniform and shoes."

David Burgess, chair of the Schoolwear Association, said: "School-specific uniforms have considerable social and educational benefits for pupils, creating a sense of pride and belonging across a school, as well as helping to improve behaviour in the classroom and counteract bullying.

"A Schoolwear Association survey of nearly 10pc of comprehensive secondary schools in the UK found the cost of compulsory school-specific items was actually £101.19, which, given the number of times the uniform worn over its lifetime, represents very good value."

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