• School Uniform Costs

    19 March 2020

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about school uniform.

    Ultimately it is for the school's governing body to decide whether there should be a school uniform in place. However, I know that colleagues in the Department for Education strongly encourage schools to have a uniform as it can play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone. Schools are expected to consult with parents and pupils, and take their views into to account when setting the school uniform policy.

    School uniforms should always be affordable and should not leave pupils or their families feeling that they cannot apply to a particular school. The Department for Education's guidance makes clear that schools' governing bodies should give cost considerations the highest priority and ensure value for money for parents when setting their uniform policy. It states that schools should avoid single-supplier contracts but where schools do choose to enter into such contracts, they should be subject to a regular competitive tendering process to ensure prices are kept affordable. I know that Ministers have been looking for an opportunity to put this guidance on to a statutory footing. Accordingly, the Government supported a Private Members' Bill on this topic on 13 March. 

    Schools are expected to fulfil their duties under equalises legislation and be willing to consider reasonable requests to vary their uniform policy to accommodate an individual pupil's beliefs, disability, or other special consideration. I would strongly encourage any parent concerned about the uniform policy at their child's school to discuss this with the headteacher in the first instance. 

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon