New school uniform rules – getting it right

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Poverty campaigners have published a set of resources to help schools implement the new statutory guidance on affordable school uniforms.

The Department for Education has published new rules to ensure that school uniforms remain affordable for families (DfE, 2021).

The guidance stipulates that schools must keep branded uniform items “to a minimum”, limiting their use to “low-cost or long-lasting items”.

Second-hand uniform items must also be made available and high street items must be allowed. Meanwhile, single supplier contracts should be avoided, and contracts should be retendered at least every five years.

All schools are now required to review their uniform policies in light of the new guidance and schools must be compliant with the bulk of the requirements by September 2022, with full compliance expected by summer 2023.

Importantly, schools are expected to have taken steps to adhere to the new guidance before parents buy uniform for the academic year beginning in September 2022.

To help schools implement this guidance, The Children’s Society, Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East have joined forces to develop a series of guides that share ideas and good practice around uniform based on their research with pupils, families and schools.

The latest resource in this series has been designed to help schools in developing their school uniform policies. Previously, the coalition published a guide on how to develop pre-loved uniform provision.

The uniform policy resource includes advice on involving children and families, keeping costs low, what to do about PE kit, and how to choose a supplier.

The previous guidance on second-hand uniform looks at how to set up second-hand shops, promotion “pre-loved uniform” provision, and ideal opening times and pick up methods for families.

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