Parents are being forced to fork out hundreds of pounds to kit out their children for attending state schools, according to a survey out today. This is from the Independent…
The average cost for kitting out a primary school pupil is now £156 – including uniforms, coats and bags – and £285 for a secondary school.
According to the charity Family Action, which carried out the survey, the cost has increased as the number of flagship academies and free schools increases.
The charity points out that this means parents on the poverty line are being forced to spend up to two-fifths of their income in August on back-to-school costs.
“Many schools use the transition to academy status as an opportunity for rebranding – which often includes changing the uniform,” says their report, The Big Stitch Up. “Although some headteachers will argue that rebranding a school can have a positive effect, it can also result in parents having to pay a significant penalty in back-to-school costs.”
The survey of 13 state schools – 10 secondary and three primary – unearthed one example of an academy where 70 per cent of parents had to take out loans to pay for the new £225 uniform. The previous uniform for the old school had cost £99.
The charity is urging schools to scrap specially branded school uniforms let parents shop around for plan, standard clothing from a retailer of their choice.
Are you aware of situations where uniform costs are going up – as described in the article – perhaps when a school ‘rebrands’? Please share in the comments or on twitter and let us know how your school or your child’s school handles the uniform cost issue…