Money Wellness
Happy primary school children in a school corridor
category iconcost of living
calendar icon04 Sep 2023

Labour promises to slash the cost of school uniform

A Labour government will limit the number of branded items of school uniform parents are forced to purchase, the party has announced.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said the plans could potentially save families hundreds of pounds a year.

If they win the next election, Labour will strengthen existing guidance to ensure parents only have to buy a maximum of three branded items of uniform, including PE kit.

The rising cost of school uniform

The cost of school uniform has risen 30% in the last three years, well above the 13% overall increase in the price of clothing, according to Labour research.

Figures from the Children’s society show parents are spending an average of £422 a year on secondary and £287 a year on primary uniforms.

What schools should be doing

The Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021 - introduced by Labour - forced schools to review their uniform policies to keep branded items to a minimum and bring down the cost for parents.

Schools were expected to do this by September last year. But nearly half of parents surveyed by the Children’s Society said school policies had not changed.

Pledge to help cash-strapped families

Phillipson commented:

“It’s wrong that parents are having to shell out hundreds of pounds to kit out kids for the new school term… Labour will limit the number of branded items of uniform families must buy, save them money, and make sure that every child gets a brilliant state education.”

Swap shops

If you’re struggling to afford to pay for school uniform, why not see if there’s a uniform exchange near you. These initiatives allow you to swap clothing your child has grown out of for items of the right size.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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