A brand-new law passed in the UK is hoped to change up the way school uniforms across the country are produced and purchased. Dubbed ‘The Uniform Bill’ and introduced into the House of Commons by MP Mike Amesbury in 2020, it is hoped that the new bill will change how school uniforms are produced and supplied in order to further support the families of primary and secondary school students.

The new bill requires that that new legally binding guidance is provided to schools nationwide in order to ensure that their required uniform is affordable and fairly priced for all families, as with rising prices some families may find it difficult to afford all the kit that schools ask for students to wear. Research by The Children’s Society, who have been campaigning for a uniform bill since 2014, found that on average a full set of uniform for a primary school student costs £315, and for secondary schools the average is increased to £337. Currently some schools ask that parents only purchase uniform from a specific supplier, which can make the uniform more expensive especially if the family has more than one child at school.

A major problem with how uniform prices are handled at the moment comes down to how schools deal with students that don’t wear the proper kit. Children whose families can’t afford full uniform face punishment, isolation and in some cases being excluded from school just for not turning up with the right look that schools expect their students to have. Some parents have resorted to cutting back on food or heating just to save up to buy kit, and for many uniform prices can have a huge impact on which school parents choose to send their child to.

So far the bill has had an overwhelmingly positive response from both campaigners and parents. Mark Russell, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said that the way uniform prices are currently handled is ‘completely unacceptable and unfair on children and their families’ and believes that the law is a step in the right direction to help families and students.  ‘It’s not about getting rid of uniforms, but making affordable school uniforms a reality for struggling families’.

From blazers and jumpers to shoes, coats and PE kits, this new law is hoped to offer more support to the families of children in school. In the wake of the pandemic many more people are left having to make difficult financial choices, so it seems to be a great time for the bill to be introduced in order to benefit both students and their families.