Rising price of school uniforms putting some parents in debt

School uniforms can range hugely in price and quality.

Families in the West Country are spending more than £300 on secondary school uniforms it has been revealed.

With the start of a new term many parents are living in fear of the rising costs, and many believe it is unfair for schools to insist uniforms are bought from specific outlets.

Tia Skuse from Bath has just started secondary school - in total her uniform so far has cost £215.25 - with more still to come.

On average a parent in the West Country pays around £313 for a secondary school uniform, and £200 for a primary one, the Children's Society has found.

Tia's uniform has so far cost a total of £215.

With two children starting new schools, Tia's mum Lucy has spent seven months saving for their new uniforms.

The Children's Society say many families are getting into debt as a result of the cost of school uniform, or cutting back on basic essentials to afford it.

In some cases they say they have seen children sent home from school as a result of families not being able to afford the uniform.

School uniforms can often only be bought from select suppliers.

So how do these schools and outlets justify the cost?

Help is available for those who need it - some schools offer free uniform pieces such as a sweatshirt or polo shirt.

Some parents have also taken matters into their own hands.

Kate France set up the Uniform Exchange to help families who were struggling with the cost of basic items.

She collects thousands of donated pieces of uniform - and washes, irons and repairs them for families to re-use. Saving them hundreds of pounds.

She said: "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."

The Uniform Exchange to help families who were struggling with the cost of basic items.