Headlines: June 10th, 2010

Council leaders want schools to ease their rules on pupils’ sports kit to help parents save money. They want governors and heads to relax restrictions on the clothing they expect children to wear for sports lessons after new figures put the average cost of games kit for a secondary school student at almost £130.

The Local Government Association said that this cost is on top of the average of more than £211 parents had to pay for school uniform. The figures also show that PE kit is even more expensive for boys, reaching an average of more than £155.

It is urging governors and head teachers to rethink their policies on gym kit so it does not become an unnecessary burden on hard-pressed families. It is suggesting that they opt instead for clothing which can be used for more than one sport, and includes items that can be bought from supermarkets and high street retailers. It goes on to suggest that kit for children competing in school teams could be provided from a central pool or that school logos could be supplied as sew-on patches.

Richard Kemp, the LGA’s Deputy Chairman, said sending children to school looking smart and wearing the right uniform was a source of pride for many parents but it could be very expensive. “The most important thing is that children get involved in school sport and have fun, while keeping fit and healthy. The type of t-shirt they wear won’t make any difference to how well they do on the pitch, but it will have an impact on their parents’ pockets.”