Headlines: August 20th, 2010

Local government leaders are calling on schools which will change status in the next year to keep down the cost of pupils’ uniforms. The Local Government Association is concerned that the number of institutions becoming academies could mean a boom for uniform suppliers leaving hard up families to foot the bill for entirely new outfits.

The LGA is urging schools to show restraint when deciding on changes to uniform by limiting this to one or two new items or by introducing replacement sew on badges. It is concerned that the average cost of a school uniform is more than 200 pounds for secondary school students and 160 pounds for primary pupils not counting the cost of sports and PE kit.

It has issued three principles it wants schools to follow to keep down costs. It says uniform items should all be available from a minimum of two suppliers, not counting the school, symbols and logos should be available as sew-on patches and families should have the opportunity to buy and sell second hand items from other parents. The LGA is also reminding parents who feel they are being expected to provide too many expensive items, that they can make their opinions known to school governors.

Baroness Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the LGA, said: “The changing education landscape means dozens of schools are changing their names or identities. It is understandable that many will want to mark this, but they need to remember that parents cannot simply sign a blank cheque for new school clothing.”