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Schools told to cut uniform bill

The coalition is urging schools to avoid branded uniforms to cut bills for hard-pressed parents. Schools minister David Laws said the cost of clothing was often "unnecessarily high" at a time when family budgets were being squeezed.

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Government sets out guideline over school uniforms

The coalition is urging schools to avoid using single suppliers and branded uniforms, as parents are thought to be spending up to two fifths of their August income on back-to-school costs.

Under the new guidelines, the government has proposed:

  • Exclusive single supplier contracts should not be used, unless regular tendering processes are run to ensure firms provide value for money.
  • They should also not enter into 'cashback' agreements with shops.
  • Compulsory items of uniform should be available relatively cheaply.
  • Branding should be kept "to a minimum".
  • Schools are urged to avoid changing specifications frequently.

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