School uniforms can cost over £300, parents in East of England complain

Some parent complained about being restricted to certain uniform stockists Credit: ITV Anglia

Families in the East of England have reported spending over £300 on secondary school uniforms. Speaking to ITV News, they've said it's too expensive and unsustainable.

Many parents also said it's unfair for schools to insist uniforms be bought from specific outlets.

It's been reported that the average uniform cost could add up to around £313 for secondary school, and £200 for primary.

One parent from Northampton said: "The people that have to go to the uniform shop, I think it's [a] ridiculous price. [My son's] in primary school so he's alright, but blazers are like £50".

A father from Norwich echoed this view, claiming costly blazers bring the grand uniform total up to £200-£300 a year.

However, a mother from Northampton claimed that if you're not restricted to buying from a certain store, uniform can be relatively inexpensive.

"In general, you can get it potentially quite cheaply. You can get white shirts and polo shirts from places like Sainsbury's these days".

How do schools and outlets justify the cost of school uniforms? The Schoolwear Association said that independent stockists and schoolwear specialists tend to manufacture durable products.

"They're made from hard-wearing fabrics", Matthew Easter from the Schoolwear Association said. "If you look at it over the period of time it's used, often multiple years, then the cost for a garment that's worn day in day out is not really that expensive."

The Uniform Exchange encourages parents to consider using pre-worn clothes Credit: ITV Anglia

According to Kate France from the Uniform Exchange, buying new school items may not actually be necessary. Her charity collects thousands of donated uniforms. Kate and her volunteers wash, iron and repair them for families to re-use.

"So far we've helped about 900 families. We get families who are struggling or we have those who really like the idea of recycling," she explained.

Kate and her volunteers are proud of their free service. They say they're determined to make life easier for those struggling with the cost of going back to school.