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A plane ticket for a school jumper: Children’s uniform costs have skyrocketed

Research from a children’s charity has found parents are spending a small fortune on school uniforms despite laws being designed to help lower the costs.

The Children’s Society highlighted, in research that was published today, that parents are spending an average £287 on primary uniforms and £422 a year on secondary schools ones. The charity, which was founded in 1881, says some school rules that required parents to buy costlier branded items were partly to blame, and also points to parents having to replace items that get damaged by kids as the academic year progresses.

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Currently in England, as the cost-of-living continues to bite, councils can offer help with uniform costs, and under laws that were brought in last year, schools in England are meant to be helping slash uniform costs.

A way of doing this is by promoting cheaper second-hand uniform options or removing unnecessary branded items from their uniform lists.

However, the Children’s Society found pupils were still expected to have an average of three branded items of uniform, whilst almost a third of secondary school students are required to own four or five branded pieces.

Similarly, to help combat inflated prices, authorities in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have introduced systems of grants or payments to help parents with uniform costs.

Due to having to pay sky-high prices just so their children can go back to school in September, many families have admitted that this summer they won’t be able to afford to go on holiday.

Mark Russell, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: ‘With inflation and the cost-of-living eating into family budgets, we are disappointed that the affordability of school uniforms remains a significant financial burden for many families.

‘While some schools have made commendable changes to reduce costs, this positive trend is still not widespread enough.’

Image: ROBIN WORRALL

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