The Department for Education (DfE) cost of school uniform guidance means schools in England must ensure that school uniform costs are reasonable, and parents get the best value for money.
Research from the DfE in 2015 showed that parents can save almost £50 on average if they can buy all school uniform items from any store, compared to uniform which all needs to be bought from a designated shop or school. From next autumn, schools will be required to help keep costs down by taking steps to remove unnecessary branded items and allowing more high-street options, like supermarket own-brand uniform.
To support families, schools will have to make sure second-hand uniforms are available, also helping work towards achieving net zero carbon emissions. In the UK, an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothes end up in landfill every year and encouraging families to use second-hand uniform can reduce waste and bring down emissions from manufacturing new garments, while making it cost-effective for families.
Secretary of State for Education said:
School uniform provides 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.
Schools should make sure their uniform policy is published on their website and is clear and easy for parents to understand.