School uniforms will be more affordable for struggling parents this summer as new Government legislation puts the pressure on suppliers to be fairer with their pricing.
A survey conducted by the School Wear Association showed that parents were paying an average of just over £100 per pupil, however, other statistics suggest some families could be paying more than £300 per child.
It’s a postcode lottery for many parents who are often outraged to find out they’re shelling out hundreds for uniform every year when their neighbours are only paying half that price.
Yolande from Worcester said “It’s an absolute con, I have two boys and have to pay £50 for a blazer, the plain black trousers cost £40 and I could get them for a fiver in Aldi.”
Chantelle another mum of three from Devon said “the prices are extortionate”
One academy trust managed to hike the price of their blazer up three times the retail value.
The same company charged almost £5 for what it called its own brand of luxury “drama socks”.
New legislation introduced by Labour MP Mike Amesbury in autumn is the first step in cracking down on school uniform suppliers that strike “monopoly style deals” that hike up prices unfairly.
Some schools in deprived areas can’t afford the prices of their local suppliers and have to resort to ordering uniform from elsewhere.
The newly rebranded Queen Elizabeth High school in Luton was forced to do just that when they contracted east midlands based Uniform Direct, who offered to supply the school at no extra charge.
New legislation introduced in autumn will mean that in the coming school year, schools will be made to follow new government guidance.
Mr Amesbury said that these changes to legislation would “make a real difference and bring the costs of school uniforms down”.
Uniform Directs operations manager Sam Singh says it might be too little too late:
“We support the bill, it has been ten years in the making, but it doesn’t do much to help a minority of schools stuck in bad deals with no where to go.”