Schools have 'head in sand' amid new uniform cost rules, claims MP

Services offering free, second-hand school uniform have reported record demand, as Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports

An MP who headed the fight for new guidelines on school uniform costs has told ITV News some schools have their "heads in the sand".

The rules come into action across England at the start of the academic year and instruct schools to keep branded items to a minimum as well as providing second hand alternatives.

Labour's Mike Amesbury introduced the legislation from the backbenches, but says too many schools are still specifying expensive branded blazers, caps and even socks.

"I've already seen some evidence of some schools with their heads in the sand...there are far too many items that are branded," Mr Amesbury said.

We filmed with parents around the country who told us that as the cost of living rockets, many are struggling like never before to afford uniforms.

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One mum in Kent, Vivian Marcus, said she would normally buy back-to-school clothes for her children, but "this year things have been a little bit tight... the pressure is on for everyone. Electric is up, gas is up, everything is up."

New research from the Child Poverty Action Group shows how school timetables are filled with other potential costs including: school trips, dressing-up days, school photos and instruments for music lessons.

Campaigners fear some children are avoiding subject options such as music or computer studies because of the additional costs.

Meanwhile the National Association of Headteachers told ITV News that some schools may have to reduce the support they give pupils from low income homes due to their own budget problems.

Millions around the country now fear new expenses that the new academic year will bring. School days may be the happiest of our lives - but nobody said they were the cheapest.