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School uniforms

(148 Posts)
jenpax Sat 14-Aug-21 16:28:22

My youngest daughter has been out and about uniform shopping for one starting secondary school and one going into reception. So far the bill for kit for both boys is nearly £800! DD3 is a uni student and a lone parent so this would have been impossible without my financial imput! There is no help with uniform costs in our part of the south and so parents are expected to pull rabbits out of hats! I am especially incensed by the cost of secondary uniform with fancy logo blazers, logo sports kit and very exacting rules about school shoes (basically meaning only Clarkes is acceptable!)
I know the Government spoke about tackling this issue but I have seem no evidence of its effects here!

Lucca Sat 14-Aug-21 17:10:01

Unless it is a private school I honestly don’t think Clark’s shoes are essential. I taught in very middle class comprehensive and although shoes had to be black that was all.

maddyone Sat 14-Aug-21 17:12:12

Parents have always bought school uniforms.

MissAdventure Sat 14-Aug-21 17:14:18

I've bought 3 lots of uniform this year, what with lockdown and growing.
Yes, it costs an absolute bomb!

AGAA4 Sat 14-Aug-21 17:18:27

The cost of school uniform has been a problem for parents for years. I remember my mum complaining bitterly about it when I started secondary school 63 years ago.

Schools need to consider the costs to families when they stipulate what items need to be bought. There should also be help for parents who are earning under a certain amount each year.

My GCs school did encourage those who had finished with or grown out of blazers etc to donate them.

lemongrove Sat 14-Aug-21 17:20:25

Supermarkets sell school clothes very cheaply.
There is no requirement to buy Clarks shoes.

Squiffy Sat 14-Aug-21 17:21:08

cost of secondary uniform with fancy logo blazers, logo sports kit

I agree! Gone are the days when you could buy a plain blazer/PE top/sweatshirt etc and sew or iron on the school badge. Nowadays there is no choice but to buy the uniform from designated suppliers. The cost is now eye-watering! (I’m referring to state schools, as I think jenpax also is)

MissAdventure Sat 14-Aug-21 17:25:11

All of my boys uniform has to have the school logo on.
No opportunity to buy cheaply.
£14 for a pair of pe socks.

maddyone Sat 14-Aug-21 17:26:54

My grandchildren’s school all have a second hand shop. Don’t most schools have them?

MissAdventure Sat 14-Aug-21 17:28:03

Grandsons school has no secondhand items for sale.

Squiffy Sat 14-Aug-21 17:29:32

maddyone That only works if there are items that are a suitable size, so not everyone can benefit!

lemongrove Sat 14-Aug-21 17:30:04

Is that a Grammar he’s at MissA ?

MissAdventure Sat 14-Aug-21 17:30:54

No, an academy, lemon.

Grannynannywanny Sat 14-Aug-21 17:38:22

When I was with my grandchildren during the week while their parents were at work I opened new packs of school shirts and popped them in the wash to soften them. They were a mix of M&S and Matalan shirts. I would have expected the M&S ones to be slightly better quality. But when I ironed them later I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. Both felt good quality and washed and ironed well. The Matalan shirts were only £7 per twin pack. The equivalent twin pack of M&S was double the price.

ninathenana Sat 14-Aug-21 17:44:50

We have a local FB group to donate or sell on school uniform. All schools are covered.
Although as has been said it's pot luck on size and school.

growstuff Sat 14-Aug-21 17:45:48

But some schools (even comprehensives) specify shirts with logos, so parents can't buy from Matalan or even M & S. In all the years I spent teaching in comprehensive schools, I never knew one school with a second-hand shop, although the school did ask for uniform to be donated (it rarely was).

jenpax Sat 14-Aug-21 17:57:15

The school specify their own logo trousers, blazer and PE
kit, the cost includes mandatory foot ball boots,rugby shirt and trainers they have provided pictures of acceptable school shoe designs and specified leather ! so no I am not exaggerating about Clarkes shoes!

tippytipsy Sat 14-Aug-21 18:01:15

What the Dickens are logo trousers?

MissAdventure Sat 14-Aug-21 18:01:36

We also have the leather shoes specified in great detail.
Then there are pe trainers, rugby ones, football ones, all with different socks.
Rugby shirt, rugby sweatshirt...

B9exchange Sat 14-Aug-21 18:03:28

My four went to a private school on the Assisted Places Scheme, so no money for fancy school uniform. The school had a second hand shop which was brilliant for blazers etc, and the rest could be bought in any local chain store. I have a friend whose children are at a different private school now, and I sew all the badges on for her, so not special clothes, just the badges.

annodomini Sat 14-Aug-21 18:15:35

Skirts have a logo on the waistband which means that the girls can't shorten their skirts - until they get through the school gate! The local high school where I live now doesn't allow girls to wear trousers, though the schools attended by both my GDs did specify trousers as an option.

BlueBelle Sat 14-Aug-21 18:28:55

At our charity shop we sell generic uniform for 50p ( some is Next John Lewis etc etc ) and logod uniform for between £1.50 to £2.50 nothing is put out that is not new or almost new but strangely it doesn’t sell well

jenpax Sat 14-Aug-21 19:59:50

Logo trousers are trousers with the school logo on,and I did call and ask about second hand but they dont have one in covid times. There was none in our local charity shops and I did check face book too!

maddyone Sat 14-Aug-21 20:21:32

The state primary school I worked at had a second hand shop. We sold mainly the school sweatshirts/cardigans with the school badge on them. We sold a few other items too.

welbeck Sat 14-Aug-21 20:53:08


Parents have always bought school uniforms.

that's not quite the case.
when i was at school it was unusual to have a specific uniform for infants or juniors.
we generally wore plain dark clothes, navy or grey, the only uniform for juniors was the addition of a tie.
many secondaries did not have uniform in London, even those that did, it was minimal, usually only the tie and a sew-on badge was specific.
now so many schools seem to ape private schools in having very expensive, single-supplier items. why branded sports kit.
i think it is a way of deterring poorer pupils.