Are School Uniforms Affordable?

I was watching ITV’s Loose Women the other day and the topic of school uniform came up and I thought I would talk about it. Affordability of school uniform is spoken about enough and it is a conversation that needs to be had.

This is something that I feels needs to be addressed and I know that sometimes people are a bit embarrassed about money and labels/brands so hopefully this post will resonate with some of my readers. But do we think that school uniform is too expensive?

In the UK, schools do not need to have a uniform. The Department of Education highly recommends it though. There is government legislation in place for school uniform which outlines requirements and guidance. The Government wanted schools to put affordablilty at the forefront when it came to developing uniform policies.

In 2014/15, the average uniform cost £212. In 2021, it is now £101. It has halved in around 6/7 years, this is a great change and one that was needed. £212 per pupil is more than alot of families could afford and with it being per pupil it became more and more expensive with the number of children the family have in school. Now though, in 2021, the average uniform is £101 per pupil. The cost of living has gone up and with the pandemic there are many families how are out of work or only working some hours. It is still alot for uniform.

One major change is high street supermarkets. Places such as Lidl and Aldi. They have made uniform affordable for all families. A uniform (trousers/skirt, polo shirt and jumper/cardigan) comes in at around £4/5. Some schools will allow jumpers and cardigans without the school logo on them as long as they are the school colours.

At Elsa’s school, a logo PE top is £5 and a jumper/cardigan is £8-10. This is a fair affordable price and the quality of the product allows them to be past down siblings. They also have secondhand items for sale for 50p an item.

This isn’t the case for all school though and on the other end of the scale is the schools that require everything to have the logo. These items are much more expensive when it comes to a whole uniform. This is what can make families struggle. Supermarket non logo uniform is the same wherever you purchase it from and there isn’t the pressure to buy it from the most expensive store. If families have to purchase from the school, the price can soon rack up and it becomes unaffordable for most families.

As it stands, I think there is a long way to go. I believe that uniform is needed but it needs to be at a price that is good for everyone and that doesn’t put pressure on already struggling families.

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