As schools return in September, some are asking parents to send their children to class in a newly washed set of uniform every day – risking pushing struggling mums and dads over a financial cliff edge.
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner says he has been contacted by worried parents who feel forced to buy extra sets of pricey uniform so their kids can go to school, while other uniform is in the wash.
Since the Department for Education removed the statutory requirement to deliver uniform grants, Cambridgeshire County Council, like 80% of councils nationwide, has scrapped this lifeline. It is up to the governing bodies or the academy trusts of individual schools to make their own decisions, but the government says there is no reason for uniform policies to be relaxed with the department for education saying, “We would… encourage all schools to return to their usual uniform policies in the autumn term.”
Mr Zeichner is calling on schools to keep compulsory branded uniform items to a minimum. An inquiry last year heard items like blazers embroidered with school logos can cost up to three times more.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “This is another example of an out-of-touch government. Not everyone has a washing machine and tumble drier at home, which is why relaxing uniform codes could make sense, or allowing children to wear their PE kit on certain days. Uniform can be expensive at the best of times and this is another financial pressure parents don’t need.”