New rules to cut the cost of school uniforms given green light – and it could save parents hundreds of pounds
THE cost of school uniforms is set to fall thanks to a new law that could save parents hundreds of pounds.
New statutory guidance means schools will have to make uniforms affordable for all families.
Schools across England will have to make sure uniforms are affordable from next year.
They will told to allow more high street options, like own-brand supermarket uniforms.
Branded items should be kept at a minimum to help parents save money, the guidance says.
Many schools currently insist parents buy expensive branded items, often from a single supplier, when standard kit would be cheaper.
The Department for Education said parents can save £50 by buying uniform from any store, rather than a specialist shop.
A uniform costs £101.19 per child in secondary school on average, according to data by the Schoolwear Association.
For families with more than one child, the amount spent on uniforms can add up to several hundred pounds.
Schools will also have to make sure second-hand options are available to make buying uniforms more cost affective for families when the guidance comes into force next autumn.
Secretary of state for education Nadhim Zahawi said: “School uniform provides a sense of identity and community for children and young people, and should be a real source of pride.
"But it must never be a burden for parents or a barrier to pupils accessing education.
“This new binding guidance will help to make uniforms far more affordable for families by driving costs down as we work hard to level up the country."
The school uniform bill was first introduced by Labour MP Mike Amesbury, with the backing of the Children's Society.
It was been delayed due to the pandemic, but was given Royal Assent in April, meaning the Queen gave her permission for the bill to pass.
As the bill received royal assent earlier this year, then schools minister Nick Gibb told The Sun: "Too often rising costs have become unreasonable, and I know some parents can feel put off by having to spend such significant amounts – or worse caught unaware when the costs are not upfront and clear to them from the start.
"This new law will help to make school uniform affordable for all, saving families money and ensuring the cost of a blazer or shirt is never a barrier.
"Whether that means encouraging parents to use their local supermarket or clothes shop, or supporting the use of second-hand uniform, I want to put an end to the financial pressure the cost of school uniform can put on families."
Parents in some areas of the UK can apply for a £150 uniform grant to help cover back to school costs.
One mum was outraged after spending more than £240 on uniforms this year.
We rounded up the best tips to save money on school uniforms, including shopping around and buying long-lasting clothes.
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