Welcome for new guidance on school uniforms

Poverty school uniform laid out
NewsSeptember 4th, 2018

The Bevan Foundation welcomes the Cabinet Secretary for Education’s announcement that she is to consult on new statutory guidance on school uniforms.

As children across Wales gear up for a new school term, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, has announced plans to issue new statutory guidance on school uniforms.

We welcome this announcement, which we hope will require schools to adopt a low-cost uniforms in place of bespoke items that are often very expensive. It follows criticism by the Bevan Foundation and others of previous plans to scrap the School Uniform Grant.

Director of the Bevan Foundation said “It’s good news that the Cabinet Secretary intends to stop schools specifying expensive items with logos or in unusual colours. These push up the price of a uniform, stretching family budgets to the limit.”

Detail of the Welsh Government’s plans are awaited but the Bevan Foundation hopes that it will include:

  • a requirement for all schools to adopt a uniform that can be bought at low-cost at supermarkets and major stores;
  • simplified admin of the school uniform grant so all eligible children benefit eg a voucher given to all pupils receiving free school meals;
  • school uniform grant to be available on entry to school in years 3, 10 and 12 as well as reception and year 7.

The Bevan Foundation warned that the proposed statutory guidance must not be an excuse to scrap the uniform grant. Victoria Winckler said “Even if the cost of compulsory school clothing is capped at, say, £60 a set, it is still a big cash outlay for the least well-off families. This mustn’t scrap the uniform grant through the back door”.

Victoria Winckler also commented on ITV Wales News at 6 on this story.


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