August is here and it will soon be time to start thinking about the new school year – and all of the preparation that comes with it.
Uniform provider David Luke has issued advice aimed at helping families make savings where possible.
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Wash and iron your child’s existing uniform items before having a try-on session to see what still fits. This exercise may reduce the list of essentials you need for September.
Sizing up certain items can extend their wear a bit longer. Look for adjustable waistbands and oversized hems to help you out.
Check with your child’s school to see if there’s an approved swap shop to exchange with others. There may be second-hand items available for a lesser price via school, too.
Repair and recycle
Quick fixes can save you shopping for a new pair of trousers or a skirt. A new button or repaired hem can help you rescue the old.
Depending on your circumstances, school and supplier, there may be bursaries or grants available for help with uniform costs. The school office is a good place to start and find out more.
The Department for Education (DfE) last year issued statutory guidance aimed at making school uniforms affordable.
It included points on schools keeping the use of branded items to a minimum, ensuring suppliers prioritise cost, value for money and garment quality and providing second-hand uniform choices for families.
Governing boards were largely expected to be compliant with this new guidance by September 2022.
The DfE said: “Parents should not have to think about the cost of a school uniform when choosing which schools to apply for.
"No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a school of their choice.”
We asked North East families for their views on how uniform policies should be revised to account for the cost-of-living crisis.
From more freedom when it comes to shopping to buying non-branded, here’s what you had to say:
Caz Rae: “Having to buy uniforms at limited outlets means that the price tends to be higher, often more than some families can afford.”
Margaret Francis: “It’s the blazers and skirts that cost the most. But compared with a few years ago I think they are value for money.”
Nicola Reed: “Scrap the over-priced logo uniform for kids as long as its the right colour.”
Vikki Meakin: “School trousers should also be allowed to be bought from anywhere as long as the colour and general style is met.”
Margy James: “It’s about time that schools weren’t allowed to tell parents where they have to buy the uniforms from and let parents buy stick-on badges like they used to, and cheap shorts and white T-shirt will do for PE.”
Annelise Hamilton: “Scrap uniforms altogether and allow kids to wear their own clothes.”
Margo Lax: “School uniforms are an excellent idea, everyone looks the same. There are great bargains from all supermarkets.”
Rebecca Anthony: “Just like if you are required to wear work uniform, school uniforms could be provided for free or subsidised. I’ve always thought so.”