Bradford school students protest over price of uniforms at Houses of Parliament (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford school students protest over price of uniforms at Houses of Parliament
School students from across Bradford held a market stall outside Parliament yesterday ‘selling’ over-priced school uniforms to campaign against the cost for poorer families.
The protest yesterday
Teenagers in the Our Shout group in Bradford held the London protest to show ministers the cost of school uniforms, which could act as a “barrier to achievement” for some of the district’s poorer families.
The group has urged ministers to remind schools of Government guidance to ensure school uniform does not prohibit young people’s education, and called for a debate in Parliament before the end of the year.
The group has pieced together months of research to highlight the cost some schools and suppliers are charging for school uniform, including the independent Bradford Grammar School which, the group says, charges more than £90 for a blazer.
Student Charlease Kesler, 15, of Canterbury, Bradford, said: “Some schools and school shops are selling uniforms for extortionate prices and obviously some poor families can’t afford it.
“I don’t struggle buying school uniform but people where I live do struggle. People do get bullied – if they don’t come in the correct uniform they get targeted because they are not the same as everybody else.”
The Tong High School student said £90 for a blazer was too expensive.
She said: “That really is too much because BGS is a really good school and obviously anybody could go there, no matter what their background. But it’s a barrier for the poorest families – they are not going to pay £90 for a school blazer.”
The Our Shout group, all aged between 12 and 20, is run by charity Save the Children, in partnership with Bradford Integrated Youth Support. The young people instigated the entire campaign by themselves.
The group found that Government guidance states that “schools should ensure that the chosen uniform is affordable and does not act as a barrier to parents when choosing a school”.
Richard Dunbar, Save the Children’s project officer for Our Shout, said: “We want the Secretary of State for Education to write to all school in the country reminding them of current guidance to ensure school uniform isn’t a barrier to achievement and that’s stated in the school admissions code.”