Resources for members on working together to bring down school uniform costs for families

The Schoolwear Association welcomes the opportunity to work with schools and the government to explore how to bring down school uniform costs for families to give them much-needed support through this cost-of-living crisis.

We are therefore proud that, over the last year, the industry has worked closely with schools to bring down the combined average basket cost of compulsory secondary school uniform and sportswear – from £101.19 per pupil in 2020 to £93 in 2021, a fall of over 8%.


VAT on school uniform

However, to continue to support families to meet the costs of uniforms, we believe that the Government must take action too by abolishing VAT on all school-specific uniform items – the so-called ‘school uniform tax’ – to save them millions of pounds a year.

  • This is something we called for last year in our policy report, which set out the case for abolishing the ‘school uniform tax’.
  • We have recently launched a petition to call on the Government to make school uniforms VAT exempt, and would welcome members’ support in signing and circulating it.
  • We have designed a poster for members to download and print to display in their stores to promote the campaign and the petition to customers. Please download by clicking the link here: Schoolwear Association VAT Petition Poster

Implementing the Government’s guidance on uniform costs

A further opportunity to help families meet the cost of uniforms comes in the form of the recently published Department for Education (DfE) guidance on the ‘Cost of school uniforms’.

  • We produced a Q&A factsheet for school leaders and governors to give our advice on how best schools should interpret and implement it appropriately.
  • We also organising a free webinar for school leaders and governors at 4:30pm on Thursday 9th June, with the DfE, to give further advice and answer questions on the guidance. To register to attend our webinar, please visit the following link.