Headteacher says parents should not be expected to pay ‘marked-up prices’ for school uniforms

The government has said that schools must ensure their uniforms are affordable from the start of the 2022 school year.

<p>Darren Guttridge, right, headteacher at Edward Wilson Primary School, with some of his pupils in their school uniform.</p>

Darren Guttridge, right, headteacher at Edward Wilson Primary School, with some of his pupils in their school uniform.

A headteacher at a school in Little Venice has said that families should not be expected to pay “marked up prices” for school uniforms.

Schools will be expected to have taken steps to follow the guidance before parents buy uniforms for the academic year starting in September 2022.

The School Uniform Bill, which makes guidance given to schools about the cost of uniform policies legally binding, was passed in April this year.

Darren, right, with pupils.

Darren Guttridge, headteacher at Edward Wilson Primary School in Little Venice, Westminster, supports this bill.

“Many schools view uniforms as an economical way for families to ensure that their children wear smart, comfortable clothing without the need for high street fashion labels,” he told LondonWorld.

“While I can understand a school’s desire to encourage their pupils to wear a uniform which celebrates their logo or motto, families should not be expected to pay vastly marked up prices for this privilege.”

The bill was first introduced by Labour MP Mike Amesbury, and it received cross-party support.

Under the guidance, which is being published for the first time, schools will have to make sure second-hand uniforms are available.

Schools will also be advised to keep branded uniform items to a minimum and they will be encouraged to allow more high-street options.

The guidance will require schools to use competitive and transparent contracts with suppliers, and it will say schools should make sure their uniform policy is published clearly on their website.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “School uniforms provide a sense of identity and community for children and young people, and should be a real source of pride.

“But it must never be a burden for parents or a barrier to pupils accessing education.

“This new binding guidance will help to make uniforms far more affordable for families by driving costs down as we work hard to level up the country.”