Tuesday, 16 August 2016


It may be difficult to get your child into a top state school but affording the school uniform isn’t, reveals a new survey by the Schoolwear Association, whose members together help to clothe three-quarters of Britain’s children.

All of the top 20 state schools in England insist on a uniform, and the majority also stipulate a blazer and tie.

The study carried out by the Schoolwear Association reveals the average cost of a complete outfit in these schools is less than £107 - just 54p a day per school year, and even better value when you consider that items such as blazers and ties will last for more than one school year.

David Burgess, Chairman of the Schoolwear Association, said: “We see more and more schools and academies upgrading to smarter and better quality uniform, and we want everyone to see it as a worthwhile investment in our children’s futures. This new research shows that good school uniform is great value, especially when compared to the cost of the branded clothes many children wear out of school. Most parents and teachers agree that good quality, school-specific uniform contributes to improved learning, better behaviour and increased child safety. We know the cost can be significant for hard-pressed families so as an industry, we’re working with schools and spearheading initiatives such as school uniform vouchers to help. We believe every child is worth it.”

Researchers looked at England’s top 20 state schools ranked by 2015 GCSE results, and added up the cost of compulsory, school specific daywear outfit items – which may include a blazer, jumper, cardigan, trousers, skirt, kilt, shirt, tie, socks or tights but not sportswear. Additional, non-school specific items may be required to complete outfits. 

Prices in the top 20 state schools range from £29 at Newport Girls High School, which only stipulates a school specific shirt and jumper or cardigan, to £188 at St Michael School, which stipulates a school specific blazer, shirt, skirt/kilt and a jumper or cardigan.

The Schoolwear Association points to previous research by Oxford Brooks University that showed a children’s designer sweatshirt costs more than £46, which is more than the cost of an entire primary school outfit.

Mr Burgess added: “Responsible specialist schoolwear suppliers provide quality products at competitive prices with a mix of school specific uniform items and generic garments to create a smart look at an acceptable price. They work closely with schools, and we have recently produced a guide to school uniform for head teachers and governors to help them to get best value from uniform, including how to carry out competitive tenders with suppliers.”