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Should the government introduce a scheme to help families afford school uniform?

(155 Posts)
Darcey123 Fri 20-Jun-14 16:58:50

A government e-petition has been set up which, if successful would help ease the burden on parents of buying school uniform but what are your views? Read all about it here:

ScarlettDragon Fri 20-Jun-14 17:03:31

Signed and shared.

I think there should be law against ridiculous school uniforms imposed by some schools. I remember buying DSD's school blazer when she started secondary school (a bog standard catholic girls school) and it was £95, that was 10 years ago! God knows how much they are now. The PE kit alone cost me £65! DD1 is starting secondary school this year, but thankfully is going to a special school were the most expensive item is the school jumper at £15. Everything else can be bought cheap in a supermarket.

CharmQuark Fri 20-Jun-14 19:08:03

I think they should do away with school uniforms.

Not sure that I want my taxes spent on a sea of uneccessary polyester.

Even less so schools that select on faith and then sting the secular tax payer for a £95 wool blazer.

Luggagecarousel Fri 20-Jun-14 19:12:39

What's the point, if their was government help available for some, the price would just go up for everyone else.

Instead, put a limit on what can be charged for a school uniform.

I wish the government would do something about school shoes. Make a law that school shoes have to be replaced for free if they wear out within a 12 week term!

AuntieStella Fri 20-Jun-14 19:12:57

There is already provision for Local Authorities to make school uniform grants, and I do not think there would be any improvement in outcome from moving responsibility to central government.

I shall not be signing that petition.

But would urge those who do, or who are interested in this, to also consider supporting CAB's Adding Up objectives

Lesshastemorespeed Fri 20-Jun-14 19:13:52

I agree with charm. I would definitely sign a petition to get rid of school uniform.

CharmQuark Fri 20-Jun-14 19:14:27

A salary sacrifice scheme is a lot of burocracy for a £27 blazer (the price at my DC good comp, whole uniform cost about £100 or less and has lasted 2 years). It might encourage schools to introduce more fanciful outfits like £95 blazers!

Parents have to budget for everything theier fmailies need - why a special scheme for uniform?

As an employer I really don't want to juggle this as an extra admin factor to help parents do the family budgetting job.

Salary sacrifice for childcare is different because it relates to an expense that parents must pay, out of taxed income, in order to work. School uniform is just something that all fmailies have to budget for, along with the rest of the child's wardrobe.

Sorry, I have not been persuaded to sign.

Shesparkles Fri 20-Jun-14 19:18:24

My dd's school recently tried to introduce a PE kit costing over £30 for top and shorts, with no consultation with parents or the Parent Council. They measured up the P7 kids due to start in S1 after the summer and sent a note home saying the money had to be paid by the following week.
The idea was dropped within 24 hours after parents kicked up merry hell, with many of them contacting the Director of Education to voice their concerns. Wish I'd been a fly on the wall for that conversation grin

Viviennemary Fri 20-Jun-14 19:25:39

I don't think there should be some kind of means tested scheme for school uniforms. I don't agree with getting rid of school uniforms. It would be a nightmare for kids who couldn't afford designer clothes. I wouldn't object to a government subsidy on school uniforms.

Lesshastemorespeed Fri 20-Jun-14 19:52:23

It would be a nightmare for kids who couldn't afford designer clothes.

Why? My kids don't (and won't) be wearing designer clothes, regardless of uniform requirements.

mousmous Fri 20-Jun-14 19:59:49

not signing.
they can abolish uniform all together if worried about cost.
and the 'can't afford designer clothes' brigade, really ?!? you can already see the difference in quality in uniform items:
cheap plastic shoes vs quality leather shoes
supermarket trousers/shirts vs higher quality items
ill fitting vs nicely fitting
hand-me-downs/all new

CharmQuark Fri 20-Jun-14 20:16:31

"It would be a nightmare for kids who couldn't afford designer clothes."

This was not our experience of a non-uniform school. Clothes were just an ordinary fact of life and no-one cared or competed.

My friend's dd however, who went to a heavily uniformed £95-blazer type place, but with a free uniform because she got a full scholarship, was bullied to merry hell because her family could not afford ski-ing, or the Caribbean, or a house with 3000sq' (yes, they had a club of people whose parents had houses of a certain size).

Uniform, schmuniform.

Everyone thinks it is important, but there is no evidence.

Bilberry Fri 20-Jun-14 20:22:57

Our local authority also provides grants for school uniform though I thought it was a central government controlled thing. I found my clothes spend dropped when my dc started school as it is cheaper than normal clothes. (However, I run into trouble in the holidays as they don't have enough normal clothes). I am pro uniform. Even 'expensive' polo tops are considerably cheaper than Hollister or its ilk which the kids might come under pressure to buy

Perhaps a petition against expensive uniform items might be a better bet?

CharmQuark Fri 20-Jun-14 20:28:56

In truth - the government have enough to sort out, I don't want them spending time debating in parliament stuff like this that tinkers round the edges and creates yet more schemes which don't make a significant impact on poverty, inequality, jobs, the economy, the NHS etc etc.

bearwithspecs Fri 20-Jun-14 20:45:18

I just don't see why there is such a trend for fancier and fancier uniforms. Our local comp has announced a change to formal uniform due to parent demand etc - that is fine, but why does it need embroided jumpers and logo on skirts ?

joanofarchitrave Fri 20-Jun-14 20:50:36

Really? Taxpayers are supposed to pay for this because kids 'might' come under pressure to buy Hollister? hmm

I agree with the poster up thread who found that in a non-uniform school who wears what becomes much less of an issue. Though no doubt our head teacher would support it as she has referred to the children at her school looking like 'the Bash Street Kids' hmm

pointythings Mon 23-Jun-14 10:57:41

I hate uniform, but since the majority of people in the UK seem to think it is a Good Thing, I would like to see legislation to end the uniform cartels where schools force parents to buy overpriced polyester crap with logos on from specific suppliers. School logos should be sew-on or iron-on only and supplied at no more than cost, and other than that, all uniform should be available from high street retailers, so no faddy colours and weird styles.

Retropear Mon 23-Jun-14 11:20:55

You can buy school summer dresses for £4,hardly a fortune. Kids have to wear clothes so just buy less out of school clothes.

Getting sick and tired of the state being expected to do what parents should do ie provide clothes,provide healthy food and provide care for their children.

pointythings Mon 23-Jun-14 11:34:23

You can buy school summer dresses for £4,hardly a fortune.

If your school allows that, Retro. Many schools don't - they force you to buy school dresses from a sole supplier at inflated prices. That is what needs to be stopped, and dealing with the sole supplier cartels would neatly eliminate the need for state subsidies because parents would then be free to shop where they could afford it.

DD1's school has recently cracked down on school trousers because kids were basically coming to school in jeggings, they have started supplying their own. They're ugly, baggy and polyester - but I don't have to buy them, as long as DD's trousers comply with regulations I can continue to buy her the 95% cotton ones from M&S which work so well for her. That's how it should be.

goats Mon 23-Jun-14 11:47:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frontier Mon 23-Jun-14 11:55:01

I think school uniform has saved me £££ in the 10 years since my eldest started school. They need 5/6 casual outfits that see them through the holidays and maybe one or two special things.

They'd need/want far more if they were wearing their own clothes for school, they'd wear their favourite things which would get ruined and it would take a very strong parent to never bow to the pressure to buy any of the "must have" items at all.

The clothes my DS's wear everyday for school are by far the cheapest things in their wardrobes. School trousers, even for teens, can be had for less than £10 and pack of three shirts similar.

Agree some school uniforms, where you have to buy branded items are ridiculous, but parents love that wink Look at all the schools you can think of where parents will move house to get their DC in. I bet well over 50% have fancy uniforms.

Spottybra Mon 23-Jun-14 11:57:22

I'm not in favour of uniforms so no. Ds has one but although the school is strict its loosely applied, so grey trousers, white polos, navy jumpers, black shoes, dark coloured shorts, white or light t shirts for PE. The Head is wonderful with primary aged children himself and quite sensible.

Dd starts pre school in sept. they have a uniform but its optional. She won't be wearing it but will be in leggings and long sleeves tops until she joins ds's school.

Ninehoursahead Mon 23-Jun-14 12:00:59

I'm overseas and lower income families get a subsidy twice a year for school uniforms. But all the state schools will only allow the official uniform. No chance of buying shirts, sweatshirts, dresses or even fleeces from somewhere cheaper.

Helpys Mon 23-Jun-14 12:18:12

I won't be signing the petition as I can't think of a clunkier and less efficient way of subsidising the cost of school uniform.
There should be a cap though- it's outrageous that State Schools and Private schools claiming charitable status can charge £20 for a compulsory blouse.

Bunbaker Mon 23-Jun-14 12:23:48

I'm not signing either. It doesn't cost any more to buy white shirts and black skater skirts from any shop that sells them than it does to buy other clothes. The only things I have to buy from school are a tie (a one off cost provided DD doesn't lose it) and a blazer - cost about £32, which lasts for about 2 years.

Oh, and a PE top from school which isn't expensive either. I can buy the shorts and socks anywhere.

DD's school does a roaring trade in selling second hand uniform as well.

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