PUPILS in all year groups in England will return to school on March 8.
Families with children at secondary school pay an average of more than £300 per child per year to kit them out in uniform according to a report by The Children’s Society.
Students haven’t been back in the classroom since December, so no doubt they might have grown out of last year’s trousers by now.
The Children’s Society’s 2020 survey found that parents in the UK with children in state maintained schools spent on average over £300 on uniform.
For secondary school children it was £337 per year on school uniform, and £315 per year for each primary school child.
Under the Education Act 1996, local authorities have the power to provide financial help to parents on low incomes to assist them with buying school clothing for their children.
HELP WITH UNIFORM COSTS
CHECK IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL HELP
AS a parent, you may be entitled to certain types of financial help, depending on your financial circumstances.
Some local councils provide help with the cost of school clothing, including PE kit.
The government provides an online central service to help parents find out if their council will help them.
The service will then redirect you to your local authority's website, where you can find the relevant information by looking at the "Education" tab.
Who is eligible for financial help?
This will depend on your local authority, but as a general rule, grants are available for people on a range of benefits including jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment benefit or pension tax credits.
Often, children that qualify for free school meals will also qualify for uniform help – if it is offered by a specific council.
In some cases, financial help will be dependent on your children’s age or what type of school they are attending.
Where to shop
There's a lot to choose from, so we've done a roundup of the best offers for school uniforms to save you money.
You can get three non iron shirts from £4 at Argos, a pair of shorts for £4 from John Lewis, two long sleeve shirts for £3 from Tesco, a summer dress from £8.50 from Next and a pair of plimsolls for £3.50 from Matalan.
Most shops are offering click and collect or delivery services, so only go into stores if it’s necessary.
We found the cheapest items from each place if you wanted to buy from different shops.
- Three pack of non iron shirts from £4 – buy now
- Stain resistent long sleeve shirts from £9 – buy now
- Two pack of plain sweatshirts from £4 – buy now
- Five pack of polo shirts starting from £6 – buy now
- Pleated senior skirt from just £6 – buy now
- Two pairs of boys straight leg trousers just £7 – buy now
- Shorts for P.E from just £4 – buy now
- Sports kit drawstring bag for £8 – buy now
- Gingham summer dresses from £10 – buy now
TIPS FOR BUYING UNIFORM
HOW to get the most out of what you buy
- Stain-resistant and easy iron shirts and uniforms will save time on laundry, and save your money from having to replace them too often.
- Scuff proof shoes are great for when they’re running around the playground or walking too and from school so they last longer.
- Trousers with reinforced knees help them last longer for kids who are prone to playground falls
- Waterproof labels for the inside of clothes so they don’t get lost or mixed up in the changing rooms
- Local Facebook groups and high street charity shops are great for second hand buys such as expensive blazers, bags and sport kit
- If the school allows, go for dark socks rather than white as they don’t stain as easy
- Size up on girls tights especially if they’re cotton or wool rich – they can shrink in the wash!
- There’s currently 20% off school uniform in selected stores and online on selected uniform items
- Two pack of crease resistent pinafores for under £10 – buy now
- Two pack of unisex jumpers for under £9 – buy now
- Matalan is offering a range of school uniform basics and accessories all for under £5
- Pair of Plimsolls for just £3.50 – buy now
- Three pack of polo shirts in various colours for as little as £3 – buy now
- Perfect for walks to school this Waterproof Jacket just £12 – buy now
- Easy Iron Gingham Dresses from just £8.50 – buy now
- Boy's Easy Iron black trousers starting from £8 – buy now
- Two pack of girl's jersey pinafores from £10 – available in store
- Two pack of boy's short sleeved shirts from as little as £3 – available in store
- 100 day money back guarantee, so if the uniform wears out before 100 days, they’ll replace it for you free of charge.
Tu at Sainsburys
- Five pack of tights from £9 – buy now
- Three pack of stain resistant polo shirts from just £7 – buy now
- Two pack of cardigans from £6 – buy now
What you need to know about kids returning to school in March.
Help over summer is being given to pupils with extra classes.
Find out which high street shops won’t be reopening in April.
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