Cash-saving tips for parents being stung for up to £300 for school uniforms – despite new law supposedly curbing costs

Cash-saving tips for parents being stung for up to £300 for school uniforms – despite new law supposedly curbing costs

PARENTS are being stung for up to £300 for children’s school uniforms – despite a new law supposedly curbing costs.

The Education Act in April was meant to help but the Government are yet to publish guidance for schools.

Alamy
Parents are being stung for up to £300 for children’s school uniforms – despite a new law supposedly curbing costs.[/caption]

It means many shopping this week for the autumn term are forking out for pricey trousers, blazers, skirts and PE gear that schools insist on.

Branded ranges can cost more than £100 for blazers and £65 for a full PE kit, compared to £10 or £20 for similar in the supermarkets.

In Bristol, full uniforms were found to come in at up to £300.

A spokesperson for The Children’s Society said: “Eye-watering prices have left struggling mums and dads having to make impossible choices between kitting out their children and paying for essentials like food and heating. 

Shop shortages

“As soon as the Government’s delayed guidance comes out, we want schools to make changes so uniforms are always affordable.”

The Department for Education said: “We are working with schools and will publish guidance for them in the autumn.”

Meanwhile some uniform shops report shortages as Covid and Brexit delay deliveries.

Parents also shell out for shoes, stationery, school meals and after-school clubs.

But there are bags of ways to save cash — and today Sun Money shows you how.

How to spend less 

UNIFORM

THE Children’s Society says branded primary or secondary school uniforms can cost parents more than £300 over the course of a year, allowing for buying new clothes to replace those grown out of or worn through.

HOW TO SAVE: If your child’s school allows unbranded generic uniforms, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda sell packs consisting of polo shirts, sweatshirts and trousers or skirts, costing from £12.50. Aldi and Lidl have rock-bottom uniform packs for as little as £4.50.

Or buy bargain second-hand items at school sales and on Facebook mums’ groups.

SHOES

Proper leather pairs usually cost around £50. And because children’s feet grow so fast, parents often have to buy footwear twice a year

HOW TO SAVE: Cheaper buys from supermarkets frequently cost less than £20. But they can get scuffed and become worn out quickly. Check charity shops for leather shoes which are still in good condition.

STATIONERY

Pencil cases, pens and colouring sets emblazoned with Spider-Man and Paw Patrol may be a bit of fun but the cost of such branded gear soon adds up.

HOW TO SAVE: Don’t always buy everything now — wait for discounts after schools have gone back. And check out Poundland’s stationery range.

LUNCH

School meals in England generally cost just over £2 a day. Packed lunches with pricey branded drinks or snacks are often around £2 as well. Both options can work out at more than £400 per year.

HOW TO SAVE: Families on certain benefits or with low incomes qualify for free school meals. Around one in five children get this. Check with your local council to see if you might qualify. For packed lunches, ditch branded products and chop up your own carrot or apple pieces to save.

AFTER-SCHOOL CLUBS

Drama, dance and sports lessons can cost more than £10 an hour in the South, and nearing £10 in the North.

HOW TO SAVE: Clubs and activities organised after the bell but still on school premises tend to work out cheaper, sometimes £5 an hour or less.

SCHOOL RUN

Petrol costs, even for just short drives twice a day for a year, quickly stack up.

HOW TO SAVE: Walking or cycling to school each day is free and healthy. If you live so far away that there is no option but to drive, maybe lift-share with nearby families to cut back on everyone’s costs — and it’s fun for the kids too.

‘WE SWAP KIDS’ OLD UNIFORM’

URSULA and Amjid Salam cut school costs by swapping gear with their neighbours.

The couple, who have three boys aged seven, five and two, team up with other mums and dads to share second-hand shirts and trousers.

Ursula, 43, a textile designer from Wandsworth, South London, says: “It’s a good way to save money. Our parent-teacher association organises a 50p uniform sale too.”

Amjid, 50, an IT consultant, says: “We also reuse school clothes among our older kids as much as possible. We found a reasonably priced after-school club so we can get more work done at home.”

Mum-of-three Rebecca Tate, 37, from Wakefield, West Yorks, adds: “It can cost up to £500 to kit out my children in school-branded uniform over a year.

“There is no way trousers should cost £26 when supermarkets sell them for less than half that price.

“I worry some families will get themselves into debt buying new branded uniforms.”

‘WE SWAP KIDS’ OLD UNIFORM’

URSULA and Amjid Salam cut school costs by swapping gear with their neighbours.

The couple, who have three boys aged seven, five and two, team up with other mums and dads to share second-hand shirts and trousers.

Ursula, 43, a textile designer from Wandsworth, South London, says: “It’s a good way to save money. Our parent-teacher association organises a 50p uniform sale too.”

Amjid, 50, an IT consultant, says: “We also reuse school clothes among our older kids as much as possible. We found a reasonably priced after-school club so we can get more work done at home.”

Mum-of-three Rebecca Tate, 37, from Wakefield, West Yorks, adds: “It can cost up to £500 to kit out my children in school-branded uniform over a year.

“There is no way trousers should cost £26 when supermarkets sell them for less than half that price.

“I worry some families will get themselves into debt buying new branded uniforms.”



* Read the full story...This article was originally published h

Who will be Next to leave the EU? Check out who is leading in our exclusive poll Poll

Comments