Lancashire headteachers asked to help make school uniforms more affordable

First published in East Lancashire

HEADTEACHERS at Lancashire schools say they already offer parents a choice of where to shop for uniforms after being asked to revise their policy on making them more affordable for parents.

The Office of Fair Trading has written to the heads of all UK schools to ask them to review their policy for the sale of uniforms.

A survey for the watchdog suggests three-quarters of England's state schools place restrictions on where items can be bought.

It said in the letter to heads that some items of uniform sold in a restrictive way could cost more than double the equivalent supermarket price.

In one example, the average price of a secondary school's sweatshirt sold under restrictive arrangements was £12. This compared with an £8 price tag at competing retailers and £5 at a supermarket chain Jacqueline Stewart, head at Rosegrove Infant School in Burnley, said the Owen Street school offers a sweatshirt with the logo on, and the opportunity for parents to buy supermarket alternatives - giving parents the choice to shop around.

She said: “As long as the children look smart and they are in the school colours, we are not precious about where the items are from.

“Children shoot up in the time they are at our infant school and parents may have to buy a couple of uniforms during the school year.”

Barbara Booth, head at Shadsworth Infant School in Blackburn, said: “The children grow all the time.

“Our uniforms do not have a logo. Our school colours - red sweatshirt with grey or black trousers - are readily available from department stores or supermarkets. It’s about letting parents have a choice.”

Nigel Dawson, head at Fearns Community Sports College in Bacup, said: “Having just one outlet creates a monopoly. We try to drive down the prices of the blazers and sweatshirts for our parents.

“As long as the pupils are wearing appropriate clothing, it’s right that we give parents a choice over where to but the uniform.”

Joss Cheatle, from Clitheroe-based Trutex, a uniform specialist, said: “Uniform has always been seen as a good think by parents and schools.

“It reduces distractions and doesn’t discriminate against pupils.

“These schools are doing the right thing by making sure the children look the same, but their parents have the freedom to source their clothes for whatever price, or quality, they wish.”

Comments (9)

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6:37pm Sat 27 Oct 12

cloud99 says...

About time too. My daughters school are very strict on uniform. The skirt has to be a certain style costing £16 which can only be bought from a uniform shop, but an almost identical one could be bought for only £5 in Asda. The PE kit can only be bought from a uniform shop.
About time too. My daughters school are very strict on uniform. The skirt has to be a certain style costing £16 which can only be bought from a uniform shop, but an almost identical one could be bought for only £5 in Asda. The PE kit can only be bought from a uniform shop. cloud99
  • Score: 1

7:44pm Sat 27 Oct 12

mikebuk says...

Bloody schools irritate me to death. Second only to YOIs and prisons in trying to humiliate those who dwell in them.
Bloody schools irritate me to death. Second only to YOIs and prisons in trying to humiliate those who dwell in them. mikebuk
  • Score: -2

9:31pm Sat 27 Oct 12

ghanto says...

the jumper which can be purchased at price just £3.00 from Adsa parents have to pay stupid £45.00 from Whitakkers just for one embroidery

What a rip off does school make profit too
the jumper which can be purchased at price just £3.00 from Adsa parents have to pay stupid £45.00 from Whitakkers just for one embroidery What a rip off does school make profit too ghanto
  • Score: 2

9:41pm Sat 27 Oct 12

hunter3062 says...

dont get me started on school uniforms. had many a run in with primary schools regarding these issues..school uniform is non compulsory in primary schools..you cannot be forced to buy any item with a school logo on it..and as for high school i still cannot understand the reasons behind every item of clothing having to have a logo.begging of term my son was threatened with exclusion for having a hi vis safety line on his shoes...the school were not happy when i threatened legal action against the school for crying out loud are they paid to teach my children or teach the clothing they wear.
dont get me started on school uniforms. had many a run in with primary schools regarding these issues..school uniform is non compulsory in primary schools..you cannot be forced to buy any item with a school logo on it..and as for high school i still cannot understand the reasons behind every item of clothing having to have a logo.begging of term my son was threatened with exclusion for having a hi vis safety line on his shoes...the school were not happy when i threatened legal action against the school for crying out loud are they paid to teach my children or teach the clothing they wear. hunter3062
  • Score: 1

11:44pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Good call says...

hunter3062 wrote:
dont get me started on school uniforms. had many a run in with primary schools regarding these issues..school uniform is non compulsory in primary schools..you cannot be forced to buy any item with a school logo on it..and as for high school i still cannot understand the reasons behind every item of clothing having to have a logo.begging of term my son was threatened with exclusion for having a hi vis safety line on his shoes...the school were not happy when i threatened legal action against the school for crying out loud are they paid to teach my children or teach the clothing they wear.
It's all about everyone being tought to conform and "fit in" rather than being individuals
[quote][p][bold]hunter3062[/bold] wrote: dont get me started on school uniforms. had many a run in with primary schools regarding these issues..school uniform is non compulsory in primary schools..you cannot be forced to buy any item with a school logo on it..and as for high school i still cannot understand the reasons behind every item of clothing having to have a logo.begging of term my son was threatened with exclusion for having a hi vis safety line on his shoes...the school were not happy when i threatened legal action against the school for crying out loud are they paid to teach my children or teach the clothing they wear.[/p][/quote]It's all about everyone being tought to conform and "fit in" rather than being individuals Good call
  • Score: -1

9:14am Sun 28 Oct 12

sharonAccy says...

What about all the schools with logos on sweatshirts.......no comments from them.

I have two kids in infants growing rather quickly yet I still have to buy logo sweatshirts.....at £10 each !!!!

What's wrong with just the colour being same like some other schools mention
What about all the schools with logos on sweatshirts.......no comments from them. I have two kids in infants growing rather quickly yet I still have to buy logo sweatshirts.....at £10 each !!!! What's wrong with just the colour being same like some other schools mention sharonAccy
  • Score: 1

9:40am Sun 28 Oct 12

ghanto says...

these schools are just show offs

People who have financial diffuiculties are forced to by a uniform ( jumper with logo) from whittakers for stupid £45.00

The quality is disgusting just streches and lasts only 6 months

Asda sell same uniform and jumper which lasts for 2 years with price of just £4.00

All parents should stand up next year NOT TO FORCE CHILDREN/ PARENTS TO BUY EXPENSIVE UNIFORM just for logos sake
these schools are just show offs People who have financial diffuiculties are forced to by a uniform ( jumper with logo) from whittakers for stupid £45.00 The quality is disgusting just streches and lasts only 6 months Asda sell same uniform and jumper which lasts for 2 years with price of just £4.00 All parents should stand up next year NOT TO FORCE CHILDREN/ PARENTS TO BUY EXPENSIVE UNIFORM just for logos sake ghanto
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Sun 28 Oct 12

sharonAccy says...

ghanto wrote:
these schools are just show offs

People who have financial diffuiculties are forced to by a uniform ( jumper with logo) from whittakers for stupid £45.00

The quality is disgusting just streches and lasts only 6 months

Asda sell same uniform and jumper which lasts for 2 years with price of just £4.00

All parents should stand up next year NOT TO FORCE CHILDREN/ PARENTS TO BUY EXPENSIVE UNIFORM just for logos sake
Well said
[quote][p][bold]ghanto[/bold] wrote: these schools are just show offs People who have financial diffuiculties are forced to by a uniform ( jumper with logo) from whittakers for stupid £45.00 The quality is disgusting just streches and lasts only 6 months Asda sell same uniform and jumper which lasts for 2 years with price of just £4.00 All parents should stand up next year NOT TO FORCE CHILDREN/ PARENTS TO BUY EXPENSIVE UNIFORM just for logos sake[/p][/quote]Well said sharonAccy
  • Score: -1

11:35pm Sun 28 Oct 12

hunter3062 says...

sharonAccy wrote:
What about all the schools with logos on sweatshirts.......no comments from them.

I have two kids in infants growing rather quickly yet I still have to buy logo sweatshirts.....at £10 each !!!!

What's wrong with just the colour being same like some other schools mention
no you dont had the same at primary i called a meeting with the govenors and lea and was told that the school cannot enforce a uniform in primary school and that i could buy a non logo sweatshirt..
[quote][p][bold]sharonAccy[/bold] wrote: What about all the schools with logos on sweatshirts.......no comments from them. I have two kids in infants growing rather quickly yet I still have to buy logo sweatshirts.....at £10 each !!!! What's wrong with just the colour being same like some other schools mention[/p][/quote]no you dont had the same at primary i called a meeting with the govenors and lea and was told that the school cannot enforce a uniform in primary school and that i could buy a non logo sweatshirt.. hunter3062
  • Score: 0

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