Are parents paying too high a price?

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Are parents being asked to pay too much for their children’s school uniforms?

That is the question being asked following the release of a new report by The Children’s Society which has put the thorny issue of the cost of school uniforms back in the spotlight.

The report by the charity, called ‘The Wrong Blazer: Time for action on school uniform costs’, reveals families are forking out an average of £251 per year for each child at a state primary school and £316 for a child at a state secondary.

A survey of 1,000 parents found an overwhelming 95 per cent believed the amount they were expected to pay was ‘unreasonable’. Much of the issue surrounds the comparative cost of buying official school uniform from approved suppliers with the price of similar items at other retail outlets.

At William Alvey School in Sleaford, where the school introduced a new uniform in September, they softened the impact by stressing that anyone with the existing uniform could continue to wear it.

Headteacher Stephen Tapley said: “We did have some concern about the new jumper being a little more expensive than the old sweatshirt but that was offset by the fact that the shirts are less expensive as you no longer need a specific ‘William Alvey’ shirt.

“Our parents also have the choice of three different outlets to buy the uniform, which we feel is important. Where there is only one official supplier that can sometimes cause problems with regard to pricing.”

○ What are your views on the cost of school uniform? Email andy.hubbert@jpress.co.uk