Uniform cost causes parents problems

ALMOST one-in-five parents reported they had suffered financial hardship because of the cost of buying their child’s school uniform, according to new research.

Photo: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

The report also found that nearly a third of parents questioned had seen their children’s uniform change at a school in the past three years.

Pupils were more likely to see their uniform change if the school had been convered to an academy (35 per cent compared with 19 per cent in primary schools, and 43 per cent compared with 39 per cent in secondaries).

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The report said there was no significant difference in a parents’ likelihood of suffering financial hardship between children attending different types of school.

There was also no significant difference in parents’ levels of happiness with the cost of uniform in the secondary phase based on the type of school their child attended.

The research found parents and carers were significantly less likely to report that they experienced financial hardship if the school allowed them to purchase all items of uniform from anywhere. The report also found that blazers are on the increase in schools with pupils at academies more likely to be asked to wear them. A poll showed 81 per cent of parents of pupils in secondary academies had children wearing blazers compared with 70 per cent of parents of pupils at other secondary schools.

The Department for Education published the report by Elizabeth Davies from BMG Research to compare the impact of the cost of uniform from earlier research done in 2007.