Why do families need help with the cost of school uniforms?
School Uniforms are disproportionately expensive, especially for families with low incomes. The cost of school uniform is often fixed - some items of uniform can only be bought from one supplier - and schools are strict about what is expected.
This means that for some families, they need to spend THREE WEEKS worth of their total income on school uniforms, just to get the basics - income which is needed for food, bills, travel, clothes and any other essentials they might need. This is unaffordable.
Research from the Child Poverty Action group shows that children who feel unequal to their peers are more likely to have a mental health problem by age 11 and achieve lower grades in their GCSEs. The work we do ensures that children and young people arrive at school fully prepared and confident, with the right uniform, sports kit and equipment - giving them the best chance of a happy and successful education. It also takes the pressure off parents who are doing their best to make ends meet. For more information about the work we do, check out this article by our CEO in response to the government's most recent education bill.
In recent years we have provided thousands of items of school uniform and school equipment to families who cannot afford it.
We are now ready to ask Schools to do more to help these families, and families across the country so services like ours are not needed.
We need your help.
Did you know? VAT is charged on school uniforms in larger sizes
Primary school uniforms cost, on average, £251 per year, per child - every year.
Secondary school uniforms cost, on average, £316, per child - every year. With some costing up to £1,200.
What can be done?
As schools navigate the requirements placed on them by the Education Bill, our School Uniform Project will continue to help schools achieve affordability of uniform by:
Making second hand uniform and equipment available to those who most need it and cannot afford even the cheapest items, either directly from one of our uniform hubs, or via our mobile hub.
Creating a de-stigmatised culture of second hand uniform recycling, empowering families to make the most of the resources in our communities, using a network of local Facebook groups, managed by our volunteers in their own community.
Use our in depth knowledge and experience in the field to help schools develop a truly affordable school uniform policy.
If you are a school governor or leader, we would love to be involved in helping you design your uniform policy in line with the new requirements. Please contact us.
If you feel passionately that all children should be confident in school with the right uniform and equipment you can support our school uniform project by making a donation to the charity here.