Schools ‘still breaking law’ on branded uniforms so parents fork out extra cash

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Schools are continuing to flout a new law to keep the costs of uniforms down.

Some parents are still being forced to pay up to four times the going rate for items like trousers.

The Sunday People successfully campaigned for schools to stop making parents pay extortionate prices for unnecessary branded items.

New guidance states schools must prioritise affordability when setting uniform policies. But one parent said her son’s school still insists on branded gear available from just two selected shops.

She said: “The school logo must be on trousers, jumpers, everything except shirts – even the PE kit. Two pairs of trousers cost £38, in Asda they cost £8. It is ridiculous. They are just plain black trousers with a logo the size of a 50p piece.”

Kate Anstey, from Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Lots of schools we have worked in over the last year still have policies which have really long lists of compulsory branded items.

“But the guidance is there. Schools need to embrace it as an opportunity to support their communities.”

Labour Cheshire MP Mike Amesbury, who helped to get the rules passed, said: “These schools are breaking the spirit of the law. I urge them to do the right thing and act now. The cost of living crisis is ­affecting everybody.”

Sarah Wayman, of The Children’s Society, added: “It is vital that schools bring in these changes to relieve some of the financial pressure families are under right now. Parents have been hit by extortionate uniform costs for far too long.”

The Department for Education said: “We have introduced new guidance that schools in England are required to follow to keep down the cost of uniform, including limiting branded items and making sure second-hand options are available, helping ensure families of all backgrounds can benefit.”