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AIBU to think that school supplier is charging far too much for for uniform?

(87 Posts)
shelsco Sun 21-Jul-13 21:09:50

DS2 starts secondary in September and the school has changed its uniform to one with a blazer, jumper, tie etc. DS1 is at the same school but until now has had the old uniform. I've just been online to price up the cost of a blazer and tie for each of them, 3 jumpers each and a P.E. kit for DS2 and its come to £169. I haven't ordered trousers or shirts yet as I was going to get them from supermarkets and obviously they'll need coats and shoes. I also have 2 younger children who are at the primary school but as they don't have to have the logoed stuff their clothes should be cheaper.
Is it just me, or does the cost of the secondary school uniform seem extortionate? I'm sure it didn't cost anything like as much last year for the uniform for 4 of them!
What does everyone else pay?

pointythings Mon 22-Jul-13 20:43:39

marriedinwhite there are people in the UK with children in the state system who are relying on food banks. Schools could hold down costs by not insisting on sole suppliers and logos on everything - state schools! To my mind that is immoral behaviour - squeezing money out of people who have no other choice and no option but to pay up. Schools could make do perfectly well with a minimum of logo'd stuff and allow parents to shop affordably, but they choose not to do this.

Meanwhile the uniform suppliers are laughing all the way to the bank and schools are no doubt creaming off a share.

It's also anti-competitive practice and if you're in favour of a free market it runs counter to this also - the big uniform suppliers know they don't have to compete on price or on quality because they know people will be forced to buy their stuff.

PearlyWhites Mon 22-Jul-13 20:48:00

Yabu that's cheap compared to most

LilacPeony Mon 22-Jul-13 20:48:02

Apparently none of the kids wear the blazers but they have to have them in their bags when asked and they are asked quite regularly! So they don't have to wear them, but they do have to have them in their bags? What is the point of that?

LilacPeony Mon 22-Jul-13 20:57:38

At my high school we could wear any navy school skirt. There was no regulation skirt like many schools have now, but the downside of it came out in a discussion I had with girls from my school on Facebook. A couple of girls said that they were never able to afford the skirt that was currently fashionable at school and they felt rotten about it. It would have been better for them if there was a regulation skirt. They may have had to wear a second hand one, but at least it would have been the one everyone was wearing and to be honest a second hand looking one would probably have looked more cool to us anyway.

Yonihadtoask Mon 22-Jul-13 22:14:22

I do think it is unfair that schools insist on the logoed items. They are bound to be more expensive.

Surely just a colour should be sufficient to differentiate between the schools.

In my area there are children in burgundy blazers, royal blue, brown, and black blazers. How hard would it be just to insist upon those colours as a jumper and tie - sack the blazers off?

When I was at school we had grey skirt (no trousers for girls back then!) grey jumper, white blouse and a school tie. There was an optional blazer but very few wore them. PE kit was quite basic too, mostly just regular stuff from sports shops - just the games skirt for girls being in school colour and rugby tops for boys.

My parents weren't well off at all (think early 80s and high interest rates etc!) and I imagine they would have found it tough to have to kit us out in the manner in which I now have to do for my DS.

pointythings Mon 22-Jul-13 22:17:20

Lilac unless you lay down regulations for everything except underwear (and I know that some schools do) you will always have this. I think it is a valuable lesson to teach children that they can't always have what they want in terms of fashionable clothes - I certainly didn't have them at secondary in Holland (no school uniform there). What a school needs to counteract bullying around clothing is a sound anti-bullying policy which is rigorously applied - which is something they should have anyway.

LilacPeony Mon 22-Jul-13 22:25:31

The girls at my school who I mentioned were not bullied so an anti bullying policy wouldn't have helped them. They just felt rotten about never having the fashionable skirt. I'm not sure what valuable lesson they learned from it really.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 22-Jul-13 22:30:10

I'm aware people are relying on foodbanks pointy but their dC would still need clothes for school - uniform or not. Even the indys our DC go to have second hand sales so I'm sure state schools have them too for a fraction of the new cost.

RealAleandOpenFires Tue 23-Jul-13 01:34:51


Yep I realise that High School uniform is compulsory. grin (but, I'm still not going to play their game though re:- "logos". I'd rather get a good copy of the logo and the clothing embriodered cheaply as possibly).


--For the prices that some Schools' charge (for clothes), I'm would be surprised if they didn't have twice daily inspection of undergarments, just to make sure the items were "logoed". Or even insisting that uniforms were worn 6 days a week (Mon. to Sat.)--*.


[Cynical mode on] If an Infants and/or Junior School, halfway through a term decided to go down the "logo route" for the next term. I would question the decision on who suggested the idea & how much of a "cut" they will get regardles they are staff or pta. Though my answer/reply would be no.[Cynical mode off]

*I would like to see Schools', try to enforce the above!.

piprabbit Tue 23-Jul-13 01:45:47

Lobby your school to sign up with the Tesco school uniform embroidery service. Blazers with logos are about £16, knitted cardigan with logo for £6.50.

possum18 Tue 23-Jul-13 01:50:00

If money is tight most schools offer a service where you can request discount buying direct through the school? If you can get similar uniform (without logos) cheaper elsewhere you could print off school logo from internet and take it to a cheap embroidery store smile

TeamGilbert1 Tue 23-Jul-13 06:41:39

I know some schools where the uniform is
Black jumper
Black skirt/trousers
White shirt
School tie £6
And whatever shoes they want.
Pe kit is supposed to be black and white but they wear whatever and teachers arn't fussed.

Half the student wear black shorts, black denims or not black school skirts but just normal black skirts. Teachers aren't really strict on that at that school half of the kids were coloured/black hoodies. The teachers generally dont mind as long as they follow the general outline of uniform. TBH there more fussed about ties :/

Runningchick123 Tue 23-Jul-13 07:11:29

I think £169 for two children is very cheap - it's only an average of £84.50 per child.
My boys both started at new schools last year (one primary and one secondary) and I spent just over £550 and only bought the necessary essentials and had to replace some trousers and shirts through the year.
The primary uniform was the most expensive one, costing over £300 because it included a logo blazer, tie, 2 logo jumpers, logo coat, PE kit and swim kit.
The secondary aged child didn't need a blazer but did need logo shirts (bought five as they get sweaty at this age), logo jumpers, logo coat and a PE kit.
Thinking about it, I also had to buy them both a pair of school shoes and sports trainers which must have been another £120.
Fortunately a lot of the stuff still fits them and can be used again this year so I will only need to spend around £200 for new shoes and the items that need replacing.
I wish I could have kitted them out for £170 combined last year.

chickensaladagain Tue 23-Jul-13 07:17:23

High school uniforms are nothing new

When I started state high school in 1989 I had to have

Regulation skirt
Lab coat
CDT apron
Cookery apron
Polo shirt
Pe skirt
Pe sweatshirt
Regulation track pants
Running knickers
Hockey boots
Football boots
Hockey stick
Tennis racquet

And I'm a twin!

I then upset my parents by growing 5 inches in my first year

Certain items of uniform changed at the start of yr 10 to identify the older pupils

No second hand sales but lots of girls wearing boys blazers so I'm guessing there was a lot of handing down going on

shelsco Tue 23-Jul-13 20:11:16

I know I would still have to kit my kids out without the official uniform but its so much more expensive now its been changed. It isn't good quality and already the blazers look really tatty. It is completely pointless if they aren't making them wear it but they have to have it in their bag!
I think I will look at the Tesco embroidery service. The school does sell uniform but its exactly the same price as the shop. No second hand sales either! I don't think the stuff is decent enough quality to last a second person to be honest!
Can't believe that some people are paying £500 per child. I would have to take out a loan to buy it if ours cost that much. sad

Dd starts year 8 in September. Today we spent over £160 & still haven't got everything.

Tie £3.95
2 school blouses £16.99
Blazer £69.99
1 skirt £19.99 (need another)
Tights £6.95 (could probably have gotten these cheaper but school specifies a denier & I just got them in uniform shop)
Shoes £49.99

Still to buy jumper £25
Pe gear (ordered through school & compulsory: skort, polo shirt, logoed socks, school track suit, a hockey stick & laced trainers.

That doesn't count the school bag, pe bag etc, or coat.

It's so expensive & very unfair on families with a lot of children at school. In fact I said to dd today I couldn't understand how my mum afforded to have do many of us (8) and 6 of us were all st school at the same time. Madness.

I'm guessing I'll be l

Posted too soon!!

I'm guessing I'll be lucky to have change from £400/£500 sad

shelsco Wed 24-Jul-13 08:42:26

Well I haven't included shoes, shirts, trousers in the total because I'm getting them from other shops rather than official supplier so that will bump up the cost as well. I'm amazed at what some people have to pay as I can't afford what we have to ay now let alone any more!

ThreesyDoesIt Wed 24-Jul-13 09:07:43

Sounds reasonable to me. Dd 1&2 are still in primary and their school does noy require their logo on uniform. Weve already spent over £300 and still have qiote a bit to buy has been.the same every year. No idea how some claim to do it as cheap.

Xihha Thu 25-Jul-13 09:35:54

ThreesyDoesIt, how is it costing that much if theres no logo's? surely you could get it all from tesco/asda/morrisons which are pretty cheap?

My school uniform when i was at secondary school was black trousers/skirt, white shirt, school tie (£4 from the school office) and school jumper (£8, also from the school office), PE kit was whatever trainers, top and trousers/shorts we felt like wearing. The only rules on shoes was no stiletto heels and we could wear whatever coat we liked and they kept the uniform the same til about 3 years ago.

Beastofburden Thu 25-Jul-13 09:44:21

bloody hell. DS1 uniform was: any black trousers, any black blazer, any black or grey jumper, any white or blue shirt. Get it from Asda, M&S, whatever. All washable and non-iron, of course. School tie was a tenner. You could buy a school crest for another tenner, sew it on and move it over to each blazer as they grew.

I used to send DS1 in on the first Thursday of term with £20 to buy all his sports gear at the school second hand shop and donate all his old gear.

This was a fee paying school that was top of all the league tables. The kids looked fine. There is no excuse at all for making profits out of school uniforms.

Become a governor and run a campaign against this. Totally unfair on you and everyone else. What do they think they are doing?

WellThatsLife Thu 25-Jul-13 10:54:01

I've got my family on alert to check the local charity shops. Dreading dd1 going as v absent minded(poss aspergers, waiting for appt), i can see her losing her sports socks(£7.50)on a regular basis. Am going to make sure that I know where all the lost property bins are in the school as I feel i will be checking them on a regular basis

MegaClutterSlut Thu 25-Jul-13 11:50:50

YANBU we worked out in all it will be around £200 for ds's uniform hmm but I asked on my local FB selling pages and got over £80's worth for £30 so not bad, perhaps do the same? smile

MegaClutterSlut Thu 25-Jul-13 11:54:57

forgot to add that's just for uniform the £200. I managed to get him a brand new Reebok school for a £1 down the bootsale as well as new football boots for £5 with a £30 price tag still on. I have managed to save quite a bit this way so far as wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise tbh

MegaClutterSlut Thu 25-Jul-13 11:55:22


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