Easington MP Grahame Morris has backed a campaign to cut the cost of school uniforms.
Mr Morris co-sponsored a Private Members Bill introduced by Labour MP Mike Amesbury. The Education (Guidance about the costs of School Uniforms) Bill will put existing guidance to schools, including that they should avoid single supplier contracts and keep compulsory branded items to a minimum to save costs, on a statutory basis.
Following the presentation and first reading of the School Uniforms Bill, schools Minister, Nick Gibb, announced the Government will support legislation, meaning the bill is likely to become law.
A survey by the Children’s Society in 2018 found that families were spending an average of £340 per year on uniforms for each child at secondary school, while parents of primary school children spent £255 on average.
Mr Morris said: “This has been a long running campaign. There are examples of schools requiring unnecessary branded items such as skirts and trousers with small school logos.
These unnecessary items can cost two to three times more than a similar non-branded item widely available in shops. This bill is a step in the right direction and schools should always consider the impact on parents before mandating unnecessary school uniform clothing.”
Mr Amesbury said: “The response to this has been hugely positive already. I’m delighted that it’s received both government, and cross-party support.
“As we take this bill through Parliament, I hope that other MPs will come onboard so we can help make a real difference for families who are struggling with the cost of school uniforms.”
Mr Gibb said: “School uniforms should always be affordable and should not leave pupils or their families feeling that they cannot apply to a particular school.
“That is why we will be supporting the progress of this bill through Parliament, in order to make our guidance on the cost considerations for school uniform statutory at the earliest opportunity.”
BILLS PRESENTED EDUCATION (GUIDANCE ABOUT COSTS OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS) BILL
Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57) Mike Amesbury, supported by Emma Hardy, Kevin Hollinrake, Ms Marie Rimmer, Justin Madders, Stephanie Peacock, Grahame Morris, Layla Moran, Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Paula Barker, Huw Merriman and Ian Mearns, presented a Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the cost aspects of school uniform policies. Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 13 March, and to be printed (Bill 10).