We’re serious about ensuring every child goes to school in a proper uniform
We’ve always believed in the positive power a school-specific uniform has on a child’s mental health, concentration and inclusion. This is why we have launched our campaign called Every Child is Worth It, which highlights the benefits of a school uniform. We know that a uniform creates a sense of community, promoting equality and cohesion and helping pupils to succeed academically.
As well as this, with our young people facing the relatively new challenge and influence of social media, we don’t want our children to feel under more pressure to wear something different and make a statement every day - in a way that distracts them from their work. Our research, conducted with Oxford Brookes University, also highlights the impact an effective uniform can have on reducing the levels of bullying within schools.
We're Supporting The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust's Campaign To Fund More School Uniform Grants
Trade Charity the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust has launched a new fundraising appeal to raise money for much needed school uniform grants for children of UK fashion and textile workers.Every year the Trust gives out over £100,000 in grants to help financially vulnerable families buy school uniform for their children. With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to put pressure on families, applications to the Trust are at an all time high, so focus has turned to fundraising, to meet growing demand for their vital grants ahead of September. CEO, Anna Pangbourne commented, “School uniform can be a huge cost for families who are in financially vulnerable situations. Our grants can really help, by covering the cost of all items a child needs for school, from blazers to polo shirts, P.E kits to school shoes.” Companies and individuals are encouraged to get involved and help the Trust to reach their campaign goal. Donations can be made online at ftct.org.uk where companies can also order a fundraising pack by emailing fu[email protected] and find out other ways to get involved.
9 in 10
Teachers believe school uniforms help to reduce bullying
3 in 4
Mums say school uniforms make their lives easier
Parents believe wearing school uniform puts everyone on a level playing field
Children believe wearing a school uniform helps them to fit in
* Source: Trutex/The Diana Award - Attitudes to School Uniform Report
Source: Family Kids and Youth
A Message from the chair
The benefits of school uniform are universally accepted by school leaders up and down the UK who have seen first hand how a reasonably structured school uniform policy positively impacts school life in so many ways. In today’s social media driven world where children are constantly exposed to the latest expensive fashion trends, a specific school uniform is the ultimate leveller as everyone wears the same clothing, leaving no room for inequality or one upmanship. A specific school uniform also allows pupils to feel part of the same team and helps to represent the ethos and values of a school whether inside or outside of the school gates.
Specialist school uniforms are also long lasting, which is particularly relevant as children attend school for around 195 days a year. This durability not only means that specific school uniform represents the best value garments that parents can buy for their children but also the most environmentally responsible as they are long lasting. These garments are also well suited to being passed on to siblings or sold in second hand uniform sales.
Through our Code of Practice, the Schoolwear Association is proud to represent our members who are all manufacturers, suppliers or retailers of specialist school uniform in the UK. These businesses are mostly local, indepedent SME’s with strong links to the communities we serve, and support the schools, parents and pupils we supply in different ways. More information about what we do, along with different resources to support schools, can be found throughout this site.
Thank you for your support.
There are schemes to help with school uniform please seek advice if you are struggling
The Every Child is Worth It campaign aims to raise awareness about the quality, and cost-effectiveness, of school-specific uniforms from specialist suppliers. We’re proud to work with the suppliers who have served families in their community by providing high quality clothing that can withstand the daily activities of school life.
Some families will struggle to purchase school uniform but there is help out there and ways to budget for the expense. Many schools and suppliers offer help. We suggest that you talk to your school or your supplier for advice.
Put Away Schemes
In a "Put Away Scheme" the child is usually fitted out with their uniform and the parent, grandparent, or guardian pays a deposit which is then held. The uniform is put away in a box marked with the child's name and the parent continues to make payments until the total value is paid and the uniform can be collected. Obviously if the child has grown the correct size is issued at the time of collection.
In a deposit scheme parents, grandparents, or perhaps guardians, may pay in any amount at any time of the year which can be used to pay for the new uniform whenever the child needs it. This might, for example, be at "Back to School" in August /September or at any time when new items are needed.
Many schools choose to use their own hardship fund to buy or subsidise the cost of uniform for vulnerable children. Frequently a specialist supplier will be advised by the school of children in need, and they will work together to find the best solution in a discrete and understanding manner for the family. Pupil Premium is often used by schools in this way.
Charitable Donations and Charitable Entities
There are many local charities and organisations who try to support vulnerable children with the purchase of school uniform, particularly in the summer months leading to "Back to School". There are many "Uniform Banks" which work in a similar way to the Food Banks, and will collect and issue school uniform for their area.
Our members collectively supply many thousands of garments to such schemes and work locally to reduce hardship where they can.
In addition schools and parents often offer a "pre-loved" service for garments to be used again. It is always worth checking what schemes are available locally.
Make school uniform VAT exempt
Clothing for children aged 14 or older, or taller or larger than the average, is subject to a 20% VAT rate. This includes school uniforms. We are calling on the Government to abolish tax on school uniforms by scrapping VAT on all school-specific uniform items to bring down costs for families.Each family would make significant savings in clothing their child in school uniform across the lifetime of their time at school, at what is a relatively limited cost to the taxpayer. The timing is now right too to abolish this tax, as Brexit has given the country new tax freedoms which the Government should take advantage of.