School uniforms are making parents feel the pinch

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School uniform at Bucks Schoolwear shop in Aylesbury
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School uniform at Bucks Schoolwear shop in Aylesbury

School uniform rules cost parents too much money according to an Office of Fair Trading investigation.

The watchdog has written to all headteachers advising them to review the arrangements they make, after finding that three quarters of England’s state schools place restrictions on where times can be bought.

Heads are advised to open up competition to more than one supplier, to lower prices.

But many Bucks schools appear to be running a fair system.

On several school websites it is clear that only specialist items such as ties, blazers and sweatshirts with badges are available from one source. while more general items, like trousers, skirts, blouses and shirts appear to have no restrictions on where they can be bought.

Ian Bryant, business manager of Sir Henry Floyd, said: “We believe we have a fair policy. In common with most senior schools we have a uniform, it is part of the identity of our school. We use Bucks Schoolwear Plus in KIngsbury Square for certain items, but more standard items can be bought from any retailer. A uniform precludes the impact of fashion and of people of different earning and income levels.

“We did try offering our business to more than one retailer, but the level of business generated wasn’t sufficient from a retail perspective and one of them pulled out.”