School uniform prices in supermarkets and high street shops as parents worry about costs

This weekend is the last chance to buy school uniforms before the start of the new term

It’s the last weekend before children return to school for the first term of the 2022-23 school year.

For a number of parents, this means one last chance to prepare uniforms for their children’s return to class early next week.

School uniforms can be notoriously expensive – especially the branded versions, but many supermarkets and other high street retailers offer packs of shirts, trousers and jumpers at much cheaper prices.

Families of all budgets are having to live with the highest rate of inflation in 40 years, with experts predicting rates of up to 18% over the next few months, due to soaring energy costs.

With costs rising at such a rapid rate, finding the cheapest uniforms possible is probably very important to many parents.

Wolverhampton parent Andrew Morris, whose daughter Alice is starting reception at Hill Avenue Academy this term, said the rising cost of living has made it necessary to shop around for the cheapest uniform deals.

He said: “It’s difficult for all parents, especially at this time, with the rising cost of all our bills – including fuel. I know a lot of people have used secondhand sales and shopped to find the cheapest deals. . “

The 36-year-old added: “Once you’ve got the dresses, the shirts and the shoes – you have to think about the PE kits, the bags and everything else – we got our uniform from Marks & Spencer and Asda, we would normally have bought the shoes from Clarks, but it’s so expensive and they’re half the price in supermarkets.”

This week the Express & Star visited a number of high street retailers and supermarkets to check the rails and find out how much the uniforms cost.

A number of stores were busy with parents making a late trip to buy uniforms for their children in the final days of the summer vacation, while a manager said their store was down to the latest items along with the clothes exposed the last of this summer’s supply.

Less than a week left before the start of the school year

Trousers: two-pack £7-£14

Shirts: two-pack £3 – £10; five-pack £7.50-£10

Polos: set of two £2.50 – £6; five-pack £6 – £13.50

Dresses: singles £4-£7; two-pack £9 – £13

Skirts: singles £5-£6; two-pack £7 – £11

Sweaters: two-pack £6 – £9

PE shorts: two-pack £3 – £11

PE T-shirts: two-pack £2.50 – £5.50

Some of the school dresses available at Marks & Spencer

Trousers: two pack £11 – £16

Shirts: three pack £9 – £19

Polos: two-pack £6 – £11; three-pack £7-10

Sweaters: two pack £11 – £13

School uniforms in Matalan

School uniforms in Matalan

Trousers: £4 – £6; two-pack £10 – £14

Shirts: two-pack £9 – £10

Blouses: two-pack £4 – £7.50

Polos: two-pack £3 – £5

Sweaters: two pack £6 – £10

PE shorts: two-pack £4 – £5

School uniforms at Sainsbury's

School uniforms at Sainsbury’s

Trousers: two-pack £7-£11

Shirts: three-pack £4 – £13; five-pack £9 – £14

Polos: two-pack £3 – £10; two-pack (girls) £5-£6.50; three-pack (girls) £6 – £8

Dresses: singles £5; two-pack £10 – £11

Skirts: individually £5 – £10, two-pack from £7

Sweaters: two-pack £4-£9

PE shorts: two-pack £3 – £5

A number of parents turn to supermarkets such as Tesco for the best deals on school uniforms

A number of parents turn to supermarkets such as Tesco for the best deals on school uniforms

Trousers: two-pack £7-£11

Shirts: two-pack £3 – £7; three-pack £5.50 – £12

Polos: three-pack £4-£7

Dresses: set of two £9 – £14

Skirts: singles from £7; two-pack £7 – £11

Sweaters: two-pack £4 – £8

PE T-shirts: two-pack £3 – £6

Vicky Jackson, George's clothing manager, at Asda in Wolverhampton, a popular choice for parents looking for uniforms

Vicky Jackson, George’s clothing manager, at Asda in Wolverhampton, a popular choice for parents looking for uniforms

As well as supermarkets, a number of swap shops in the Black Country and Staffordshire also offer second-hand uniforms at discounted prices, while some schools have even provided free uniforms to parents.

Schools in England are also now required to help reduce uniform costs by taking action to remove unnecessary branded items.

The Education (School Uniform Cost Guidance) Bill, which makes guidelines for schools on the cost of uniform policies legally binding, was passed in April last year.

Under the direction of the Department of Education, schools will be required to ensure that second-hand uniforms are available and instructed to keep branded uniform items to a minimum. They will be encouraged to allow more main street options.

The guidelines state: “Parents should not have to think about the cost of a school uniform when deciding which school or schools to apply for. Therefore, schools need to ensure that their uniform is affordable.

“When considering cost, schools will need to think about the total cost of school uniforms, taking into account any uniform items or clothing that parents will need to provide while their child is in school.

“Schools should keep the use of branded items to a minimum. The school uniform policy should be posted on the school’s website, be available to all parents, including parents of prospective students, and be easily understood.”

The Department for Education has also told schools they should assess the impact uniform variations may have on allowing parents to pass items between siblings and avoiding frequent specification changes, as well as engaging with parents and students on cost issues when developing uniform policies.

The bill was backed by then Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, who said when the guidelines were released: “The school uniform gives a sense of identity and community to children and young people, and should be a real source of pride. But this should never be a burden on parents or a barrier to students’ access to education.”

. price of school uniforms in supermarkets stores street so parents worry about costs

. School uniform prices supermarkets high street shops parents worry costs

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