|Uniforms were not always the norm - my class in 1980s|
Trips are to be encouraged but their costs impact on family budgets at a time when many are hard up. If they contribute to learning it is clear that all chidlren should have an opportunity to gain from them.
Another factor for many parents is the high cost of school uniform when they are asked to purchase from specialist school uniform shops or from the school itself, rather than buy the generic uniforms available from stores such as ASDA. Rapidly growing children will requite new uniforms regularly but may end up, due to lack of money, sprouting out of clothes far too small for them. Some schools help by arranging uniform swap shops or arranging sales of second hand uniforms. Grants or vouchers are available in some areas towards school uniforms but not in Brent.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau has set up a campaign to address these issues:
Get involved in the Adding Up campaign today and help families struggling to meet the costs of schooling
This is what you can do to help:
- Encourage: Does your local authority provides school clothing grants? Then make sure the grants don’t become victims of cuts by writing to the local authority. Here is a model letter ( 28kb) for you to use.
- Don’t know what your Local Authority Policy is? For a quick check type a post code into the section on school uniform grants on the Directgov website.
- Top tips: Could schools in your area do more to help parents by making uniforms, trips and kit more affordable ? If so then check out Citizens Advice top tips ( 160kb). Send a copy to your head teacher and/or chair of governors and ask what they are doing to help families.
- Tell us about it ? The Adding up campaign wants to hear your experiences on school costs. Do you feel you are paying too much for uniforms, trips and other essential equipment ? What help is available in your local authority area and what is your experience of accessing it ? email Citizens Advice campaigns
The Adding up campaign helps families by:
- Perhaps schools and the local authority in your area have helped parents ? If they have, then email Citizens Advice campaigns
- encouraging schools and education authorities to promote cost-cutting policies on school uniforms, trips, kit and other items. This can save families hundreds of pounds a year
- lobbying local authorities to tackle child poverty by offering school clothing grants to those most in need.