Gransnet forums


The cost of School Uniforms

(54 Posts)
gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 12:39:31

Wasn't sure where to put this.

I try to help my DS and DDiL out with the children's clothes and shoes as its very expensive buying for 3 .

I have just ordered a few pieces of uniform for my 2 DGD's from the specialist embroidery shop that the school uses (not able to get them anywhere else).

I am angry that the school must be "on the make" from this.

School jumper for a tiny 11 year old £21.50 and I have had to buy 2 for her and 2 for her older sister. so 4 in all costing £86 !

Tie £5.95 (plus vat ?????)

PE kit x 1 (sit down for this one) £125.50 !

Un bloody believable ! angry

midgey Thu 08-Aug-19 12:43:29

I think it is truly immoral that schools are demanding that children wear these extortionate uniforms. Children are put in detention if they have clothing that doesn’t comply.

paddyann Thu 08-Aug-19 12:44:45

Our schools dont insist on their exclusive labels.My GC have uniform things from whichever shop I'm in when I get it.Sometimes it M &S sometimes its asda for school dresses.To be honest they dont wear the dresses that often so I wouldn't pay a lot for them.One thing they all have brought back recently is tartan skirts which are lovely ,the school has a scheme for taking back outgrown ones ,having them washed and selling(or giving) them to families who cant afford the new ones .Schools in our area have alot of deprived families ,thankfully they realise that /

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 12:45:26

Yes my DGD has just received a letter in the post saying just that midgey. Infact it goes one better and says that any child not wearing the correct school uniform will be sent home.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Aug-19 12:46:31

I'm facing the same kind of bills, and I think its disgusting.

I'm in favour of uniform, but I can't see why they can't be bought at a supermarket.

midgey Thu 08-Aug-19 12:49:05

Paddyann perhaps your grandchildren are still at primary school. Many Secondary schools have turned into Academies, so the government can opt out. God help any family that is already having to use a food bank.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Aug-19 12:52:29

My boy goes into seniors, so I have a list including rugby shirts, football kit, however many pairs of socks, as well as the uniform, blazer and kitchen sink; all with the school logo on.

I resent spending as much as I would on a week away in a caravan on ruddy uniform!

Alexa Thu 08-Aug-19 12:55:25

Gillybob, can you complain to the governors, or to your MP ? Is there a parents' association?

This is so wrong. I can imagine children and parents might go on strike or at least a demonstration about the injustice.

glammanana Thu 08-Aug-19 12:59:39

I just can't understand why the uniforms can't just be Navy or Grey across the board with just the badge being the identifying factor along with the tie.
This is the 1st year in many years that we don't have to help out with uniform for my 2 youngest DGCs as DGS is going into 6th form and as long as he is in smart trousers and jacket there is not a problem.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 13:08:22

This is a much sought after oversubscribed school and basically if you don't like their rules (and boy do they love rules) then you know where the door is . I kid you not.

Some may recall how we tried desperately to get my eldest DGD into this school and only won a place on appeal, so I think we have no choice really.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 13:10:57

Its the same at my 2 DGD's school MissA . Everything has to be embroidered with the school logo (only available from 1 place) .

The PE kit itself is really expensive ! I pity those living on the breadline, who don't have anyone to help out .

EllanVannin Thu 08-Aug-19 13:11:56

Between my D and myself, there are 6 to kit out and it's an arm and a leg for a pair of decent shoes for starters. No use getting cheap ones, they don't last and are usually uncomfortable so that way it's money down the drain. If I contribute toward the shoes it's something.

D and GD are taking the children for their clothes and shoes in the next couple of weeks. The final bill will be horrendous-----enough for a decent holiday, it's criminal.

paddyann Thu 08-Aug-19 13:13:29

We dont have that Academy system here in Scotland its either state schools or private schools .

Alexa Thu 08-Aug-19 13:13:43

My son is a school governor, Gillybob, and I will tell him what you say.

I live and learn.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 08-Aug-19 13:16:45

My children’s school ran a second hand sale - well attended and also a second hand cupboard for during the year. Recycling at its best. No stigma - parents from “all walks of life” attended. Many items were donated by leavers. Extra funds went into the school library and IT department. Why not start this at the June/July sports day or end of year picnic?

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 13:16:45

We are trying to source skirts and blouses from elsewhere but I am worried that the school will deliberately not approve them and we will be forced to pay extortionate amounts for these too. Its such a worry.

stella1949 Thu 08-Aug-19 13:20:35

Don't the schools sell uniforms second hand ? I buy all the GC uniforms but get them at the school second hand shop which has good donated uniforms at half price or less. The school gets them for free, and so any money they make is a profit.
The only things I buy new are the shoes.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 13:26:51

I think the school must make a small fortune on the back of this.

Elegran Thu 08-Aug-19 14:13:13

If the school do make a commission on the sale of uniforms, Gillybob, it surely must appear somewhere in their accounts? Are these accounts available to parents/grandparents like yourself?

They damn well ought to be, if they are making a profit on something obligatory like uniform - fair enough if they had a fund-raising arm which was open about its aims and accounts, but not if it is a hidden expense.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 14:17:04

I'm not sure where I would start to look Elegran they must make a profit though as the uniform providers website pretty much says so. To be honest I don't even think the school would try to hide the fact that they profited. They are a law unto themselves.

BlueBelle Thu 08-Aug-19 14:18:25

We have the same and the nearest stockist is about 40 miles away so you can add the fuel on, they won’t do it over the internet either you have to go in person
It not always easy to buy second hand stella I have a very tall granddaughter some people may have chubby short or skinny ones that don’t fit in with the rest of the class
I think all logo clothes apart from maybe the Blazer should be outlawed or you could buy the logo badge separately to sew on like brownie badges

Charleygirl5 Thu 08-Aug-19 14:22:44

I could not believe the cost of school clothes locally- over a tenner for a tie!

The person who was telling me the outrageous cost, not dissimilar to Gillybob's has two boys, one is about to start senior school next month and she cannot even save with sports tops because every year it is a different colour. Also they can only be bought in one shop.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 14:23:18

Actually I take that back Elegran the bit where they told school they would benefit from each sale has disappeared and can only be accessed now via a log in. hmm

MissAdventure Thu 08-Aug-19 15:02:15

The shop had a stand taking orders in the school lobby when I went to attend the 'transition meeting' or whatever it was.

Which was a bit silly, as that was weeks ago, and if I'm spending hundreds on uniform he'll be wearing 5 sizes too big, not stuff that fitted him then. grin

Gymstagran Thu 08-Aug-19 15:51:36

My one set of grand children's school sell off all items in unclaimed lost property and additional items donated by parents at the end of term. They only have logo on cardigans. The other set have to buy from school shop and don't let any of the supermarkets have the logo for embroidering onto shorts/blouses. Different schools different locations , different rules.

elbev60 Thu 08-Aug-19 16:00:03

I help with eldest GS school uniform and fortunately in his primary school the cost could be worse. I’m not looking forward to him changing school at the end P7! Some schools really have become OTT about the uniforms. What is the actual point of a different colour top for PE for each year group?

Callistemon Thu 08-Aug-19 16:11:13

gillybob I thought that this was going to be one of those threads and was going to suggest sending them in onesies and plimsolls!

I do understand as two of my DGC will be going to senior school and the one here introduced a strict new uniform last year. It's not an academy as there are none here.
I will offer to help out if needs be because I know the cost is very high.
There will be little in the way of secondhand uniform as it was so recently changed.
Then, of course, there will be all the extras - do they have to buy all their own sports equipment, laptops etc?

However, DGD has been very excited to explain to me exactly what the uniform will be. I did wonder how long it will take all the Y7s to get fed up with it.

At least no hats are required as they were when I was at school.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 16:18:57

Erm I wish we could get away with Onesies and Plimsolls Calli but sadly not .

The list of what they need is crazy and now that both girls are at secondary school everything is twice over. The school is very strict on uniform and recent letters say that children will be sent home if they turn up in anything other than what the school dictate .

Cherrytree59 Thu 08-Aug-19 17:25:24

I completely understand gilly

When my just turned four year old started school 2 years ago, we offered to help with uniform and shoe expenditure.
The school insisted on the embroidered polo, sweatshirts and PE shirts were ordered via the school.
I can't remember the exact amount but we all were a bit shock.
The following year our grandson had obviously grown and so uniform had to be renewed through school.

This year we have two grandsons starting school this September.
We have given son and DIL who live a distance away money to help with purchase school uniform.
Ironically all grandson's uniform are purple and not available via outlets such as M&S.

Things have changed re my other grandson who will starting at same school as older brother.

The school have now said that parents can purchase school uniform without the embroidered logo.

However the only store selling purple seems to be Asda.

Daughter has several pieces of embroidered uniform that are in good order, so these will be used by her youngest son.

Net result this years spend quite a bit less.
Each boy has one new embroidered sweatshirt and Polo shirt for first day, school photos and trips.

I am sure however that supermarket uniform will not be any where near the quality of the outlet.
But items from shops are much cheaper to replace
In the first year grandson 'lost' hmm two brand new sweatshirts which had to be replaced.
All uniform marked in obvious place and also hidden in sleeve.

Probably best not to mention cost of shoes, trainers and pumps!!!smile

Callistemon Thu 08-Aug-19 17:29:54

On the last day of term the HT put out a rack of lost property which no-one had reclaimed. For a small school it was quite extensive.
If not claimed she said it would be washed and kept in school for emergencies. I was surprised that parents had not chased up any of it.

eazybee Thu 08-Aug-19 17:36:49

These rules sound exactly the same as my grammar school in the 1950s, but the uniform lasted for years. I am a strong believer in school uniform, but it is the wearing of it which is important, not the cost. Is there a parents association which can investigate the high cost, and where the profit is going?
This is a subtle way of making a school selective, by putting parents off from applying because of the high costs involved. Your daughter and son in law must raise concerns with the school, the Governors, and their local MP.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 17:54:42

This is a subtle way of making a school selective, by putting parents off from applying because of the high costs involved.

Of course it is eazybee . It’s a very hard school to get into as it is, as they operate a policy of taking all children direct from selective primaries (which just happen to be situated in very expensive villages) leaving few or no places for local children. My DGD was originally given a place at a school many miles away from home (despite this school, being on the doorstep) but we went to appeal and won, so I suppose we should have known what we were letting ourselves in for, cost wise.

Callistemon Thu 08-Aug-19 17:58:15

That can't be the reason here, as we have Hobson's choice.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Aug-19 18:02:26

My grandsons school made such a song and dance about the secondhand uniform, put it on a table outside where reception is, kept sending texts, emails and so on.

I would have been embarrassed rummaging through it.

Callistemon Thu 08-Aug-19 20:50:59

I have noticed that, what shall I say, better-off parents are quite happy to rummage.

Someone I know who was very well off bought DD's old uniform from a school sale

trisher Thu 08-Aug-19 21:01:06

My GCs Academy school in a very nice area runs second hand uniform sales which are very popular and used by most of the parents. As the items are donated the school has a good income from this. Perhaps you could suggest to the PTA that they start one gillybob after all if the uniform is so expensive it should be good quality and should wear well.

crystaltipps Thu 08-Aug-19 21:22:28

Presumably parents are aware of the uniform code before they accept a place at a particular school. Maybe one of the reasons for the school being sought after is that they are hot on discipline and appearance. Its swings and roundabouts. If the school gain some extra funding this way maybe it’s a reflection of the cuts that been made to schools and this is one way they can actually pay the staff. Or maybe it’s an overblown academy which is paying huge salaries to its senior management and has to maintain that. An example of Tory policies that don’t actually benefit the children.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Aug-19 21:37:32

My boy is going to the one that's closest, for practical reasons, and also because we're in the catchment area, and you have to have very good reason to go elsewhere.

gillybob Thu 08-Aug-19 23:22:22

The “or maybe” fits the bill crystaltips . Daren’t say any more.

grannyactivist Fri 09-Aug-19 00:04:19

The cost of school uniforms last year drove many (working) families to use the food bank for the first time as they couldn't afford to clothe their children for the new term AND buy food. This year the Foodbank is piloting a School Uniform Bank and it looks as if it's going to be quite successful; local charity shops are handing over donated uniforms as are ex-pupils. Local businesses and individuals are giving cash.

ElaineI Sat 10-Aug-19 00:22:04

If schools had no policy then parents may be cajoled to buy things in fashion by their children which can change from week to week. DGS1 infant school just merged with primary school and changed colours - voted by parents. Don't have to get the logo uniform but blue was colour voted in (red before) and available in most supermarkets. DC primary school was purple and quite common in Scotland.

Elegran Sat 10-Aug-19 10:28:28

When their "policy" is to force parents to go to one expensive shop for uniform instead of buying generic clothes of the right colour from a more modest shop - and then the school takes a cut from that expensive shop's profit from selling those expensive uniforms - it starts to appear that their real motive is not equality among the children, but the inflation of their own profitability. That is wrong!

Resurgam123 Wed 16-Oct-19 23:41:56

My grandsons primary school has a very basic school uniform. It is in a very working class area.
My friends grand children have obviously quite posh uniform which is where they live.
I guess this school is already in an afluent Cheshire school .
I really wonder how much they pay for their childrens uniform, compared with my grandsons.
I do agree with school unifom but it should be really be very basic and as inexpensive as possible.
There was an interesting post a long while ago now who struggled to buy school uniform and because of that those children could not get to a grammar school education.
Why grammar schools is/or are still very divisive.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Oct-19 06:27:42

There was an interesting post a long while ago now who struggled to buy school uniform and because of that those children could not go to grammar school
This is nothing new, my Dad 90 years ago could not go to grammar school as his mum couldn’t buy the uniform needed and that was a very long time before logos

Blencathra Thu 17-Oct-19 06:59:24

I am a great believer in school uniform but it ALL schools should have one where it can be bought anywhere apart from the tie and a badge that can be sewn on. Blazers should be washable. PE kits should be plain. The school could keep a set with logos to lend out for matches.
My pet hate is piped blazers - why?

Davidhs Thu 17-Oct-19 07:57:06

My youngest daughter has 4 at school 2 primary 2 secondary, for her, no problem with clothes, happy to swap with other parents at little cost, shoes are an issue, you can’t really swap and sports kit.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Oct-19 08:28:07

It’s also not easy david if you have a tall child or any other slight ‘difference’
I have just started a link with a local community group to pass on bags of generic school clothes from the charity shop I volunteer in as we get way more than we can sell although we sell them at 50p a shot They are often brand new with labels still on so a terrible waste
To me life is about links and need more now than ever

ninathenana Thu 17-Oct-19 08:54:11

There is a quiet large group in our area that organise uniform swaps.
They set up in a school hall at the end of school year and people can bring uniform from any local school and swap for larger sizes or senior for primary.
Great idea.

Missfoodlove Thu 17-Oct-19 09:28:40

I’m always amazed at how parents moan about the price of a uniform but then don’t bother to sew name tapes in!
School lost property bins are full of unmarked clothes.

Grannycool52 Thu 17-Oct-19 10:44:11

I agree with most posters above. There should be a generic uniform in the school colour, navy, green, blue, brown, whatever, with just a sew-on badge for the jumpers and a tie for the boys.
Where I live they have scrapped ties for girls and they wear their blouses open-necked, and I think it looks better. The same with sports gear, lots of schools have generic tracksuits and sports shirts with just a sew-on badge. Much fairer on everyone I think.
Yes, agree about name tapes too, even home made ones if the professionally made ones are too expensive.

Oopsminty Thu 17-Oct-19 10:50:45

I recall many years ago when my eldest was at an all girl's school. She'd been there a year and the school introduced ghastly scratchy jumpers with the name of the school embroidered on it.

I had just purchased a jumper from Tammy Girl. It was the right colour ... bottle green ... and I was told that she could continue to wear it until she grew out of it.

Thanks to my lack of good washing schools the jumper appeared to grow and grow and she was able to wear it until she left.

It was a tad 'well worn' but we were very pleased that we didn't have to go down the scratchy jumper route.

Resurgam123 Thu 07-Nov-19 16:24:01

I suspect some schools in affluent areas manage to make a point of getting their children more 'posh" and expensive uniforms etc.
Which most of the others cannot afford. This is a local primary school.

I am right with Gillybob with regard to school uniform.

There is one near us that has a school who goes for making their school uniform fancy, with better with more top quality fabrics . Which is just not fair.
Posh embroidery adds to the costs. On
Keep the uniform really simple itself.

Hithere Thu 07-Nov-19 16:44:35

I do not agree with unnecessary expensive uniforms for the sake of status

However, I think you are being unreasonable.
The price of those uniforms cannot be a secret and the public is well aware of the gauging.
If so signing your kid up to attend that school is part of the price you pay.
Uniform + school is a packaged deal. Take it or leave it.

Urmstongran Thu 07-Nov-19 16:56:10

I was surprised to see gillybob posting this. Then I looked at the date ....