THE Government's change to school uniforms to try reduce costs will be welcome news to one Bradford parent who pays almost £1,000.

It was announced yesterday that The Department for Education (DfE) was publishing statutory guidance that will require schools to remove unnecessary branded items to make uniforms more affordable from next autumn.

Schools will be expected to have made changes before parents buy new uniform for the new academic year in September 2022.

The T&A asked parents in Bradford what they pay for uniforms currently and also their views on the new ruling.

The responses highlighted that most families are having to pay into the hundreds per academic year, with one parent revealing they have shelled out almost a whopping £1,000 for uniforms for their four children.

Elliot McElroy said: "We’ve got four kids and it costs us nearly a grand all in, absolute joke.

"That’s before bus fare, school trips, none uniform days - where they take money in to not be in the uniform they pay for - it would be cheaper to let them slam school and pay the fines."

It's a similarly expensive story for Vicky Slingsby.

She has paid £600 in total for her two children this academic year.

Mrs Slingsby explained black trainers are the most expensive item, as well as the school blazer.

She said: "Black trainers (kids will only wear branded ones) but the most expensive single uniform item is the blazer."

Giuliani Mamusi, who paid £160 for her child who is in Year 1, concurs that shoes have the heftiest price.

Niomi Jolley replied to Mrs Mamusi with: "It's absolutely disgraceful."

Meanwhile Sofia Razaq shelled out £125 this year and said the most expensive items were the blazer, jumper and hijab.

Rahat Ali and Shahzia Alam both paid £100 for each of their children, with the latter revealing the items with the biggest price tags were jumpers and the fleece - both items with school logos on.

Those with more children can see the prices rack up into the hundreds.

Kaz Cresswell said: "Try having twins and having to buy uniform."


Some parents even revealed there are often discrepancies between the prices of uniforms for different family members, sometimes relating to whether they are attending primary or secondary school.

Ann-Marie Mountain explained there is a huge £170 difference between what she pays for her 14-year-old and six-year-old.

She said: "Nearly £200 for my 14-year-old, then my six-year-old about £30."

Darren Lofthouse outlined he had a similar situation.

He said: "Over £200 for my daughter, whereas my son's was £70."

Parent complaints about uniforms sometimes relate to having to buy different items for different seasons and even events.

Rebecca Claire said: "Way too much and it’s not only September to buy, you've got to buy more come summer."

Leyo Grace replied: "And all the random costume days they have, giving you one day prior notice."

But one parent did outline their child's uniform cost for the academic year was more acceptable.

Hannah Brodrick said: "About 30 quid for my nine-year-old... 42 with two extra school jumpers."

There were those who were short and sweet with their responses as to how much uniforms have cost them.

Laura Brown said: "An arm and a leg."

Jon Newman said: "Too much."

But will the Government's incoming guidance help reduce costs?

Katy Harrison said: "Primary school uniform can be pretty cheap as most can be plain and purchased from supermarkets etc., it’s the specific items from uniform shops (usually with a logo on) that are overpriced.

"Secondary school items which require logos, such as blazers and PE kits, are overpriced.

"All schools could easily reduce the costs for parents by allowing plain shirts and plain sweaters, and plain shorts and T-shirt for PE, instead of fancy types with logos."

Oswaldo Jasper focused instead on the wording of the Government's announcement and is concerned it might come down to each school's choice.

He said: "The key thing to note that this is only guidance - in other words there is no obligation for any school to follow it.

"Even if they do it's only to remove branding where it's not necessary, but it will be down to the schools to define what is and what isn't necessary."

Mrs Mamusi doesn't think the ruling will help reduce costs either.

But Mrs Razaq, Mrs Alam and Mrs Slingsby feel the change will help, with two of the parents offering other ideas of dropping costs for families.

Mrs Alam said: "Eliminate formal trousers for practical joggers for boys in school uniform colours."

Meanwhile, Mrs Slingsby said: "Remove the need for both blazer and sweatshirt - have one or the other."