• Local Government Association urges schools to cut uniform costs
  • Schools changing names or to academy status particularly introduce new clothing rules
  • Some parents resorting to borrowing and debts
  • Secondary school uniforms costing an average £285 and £156 at primary school

Schools are being urged to stop changing their uniforms amid concerns it is placing an intolerable strain on many parents.

A raft of schools are becoming academies with many introducing expensive uniforms that mirror those in the private sector.

The prices are so high that large that families with two or three children are having to go into debt or borrow from family and friends.

But with research suggesting that the average cost of a uniform for secondary school pupils is £285 and £156 for primary school children, council chiefs have intervened.

The Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is urging schools changing uniforms to alter just one or two items, or introduce replacement sew-on logos.

Some parents fear they are putting their children at risk of detention in an era when many head teachers will not tolerate any breach of uniform rules.

The situation is not helped by the fact that many schools have ignored pleas from successive governments to allow parents to buy generic cheap supermarket uniforms.

Instead, many incorporate special design elements on trousers, blazers and jumpers and insist families use school shops or specialist outfitters.

David Simmonds, of the LGA, said: ‘As scores of schools change their names or identities it is understandable that many will want to mark this, but head teachers need to bear in mind the potential financial cost to already hard-pressed families.

‘Parents already look to minimise costs by buying larger uniforms that their children can grow into, shopping in sales, spreading the cost by starting to buy items as early as spring, or even buying second hand items such as school blazers. But it’s more difficult for mums and dads to plan ahead when their child is set to attend a newly built or rebranded school.

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