Children can go to school in cheaper uniforms under Labour plans

Parents will pay less for school uniforms under new rules planned by Labour.

Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson has announced plans to limit the number of expensive branded items schools can demand parents buy.

Instead of being ordered to purchase specific items, parents will be free to dress their children in smart but cheaper equivalents.

The average cost of a school uniform is currently £422 every year for secondary pupils and £287 for primary pupils, according to research by the Children’s Society. But a Labour Government would cut the bill for hard-pressed families, Ms Phillipson said.

She said: “As children and parents look forward to the new term, Labour is determined to reset the relationship between schools and families, and that includes reducing the cost of school uniforms.

“With the Conservatives’ Cost of Living Crisis raging, it’s wrong that parents are having to shell out hundreds of pounds to kit out kids for the new school term.

READ MORE: Average child goes through 945 school uniform items during their school life

“That’s why Labour will limit the number of branded items of uniform that families must buy, save them money, and make sure that every child gets a brilliant state education.”

Labour would change guidance created by the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021 to ensure parents are required to buy no more than three “branded” items of uniform and PE kit, rather than multiple branded items such as skirts, blouses, polo shirts, trousers, jumpers and ties.

The cost of school uniforms has risen by 30 percent in the last three years. However Conservative MP Sir John Hayes said they nonetheless save parents’ money by ensuring they are not under pressure to buy children expensive designer clothes.

He said: “What is still worse is the prospect of bringing fashion parades to classrooms, as children from wealthier families would soon be sporting the latest designer brands in place of their uniform dark trousers and skirts, white shirts and blouses and monogrammed blazers.

“Pester power would doubtless be in full force with children from poorer families begging their parents to let them compete in the fashion stakes. Far from the short-sighted moaners claim that school uniforms add to the financial burden on families, in fact it saves them money.”

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