Can you buy cheap school uniforms? Poll Discussion

edited 30 August 2011 at 10:28PM in Money Saving Polls
44 replies 6.3K views
135

Replies

  • edited 7 September 2011 at 8:35PM
    TechnoBadgerTechnoBadger Forumite
    153 Posts
    edited 7 September 2011 at 8:35PM
    Now is the time for parents / PTAs / schools, particularly of primary age children, to sort out their own uniform and save money in the process.

    Here's two companies who will probably supply schools / PTAs / parent groups directly and cost effectively. I believe they can sort out the embroidery, too:

    http://www.zecoschoolwear.com/

    http://www.innovation-trading.co.uk/

    There are others, too, but here is decent enough quality uniform at low prices.

    Once you've found a supplier start by sending out an order form - google can help find examples http://lmgtfy.com/?q=school+uniform+order+form

    Make sure there's a small mark-up otherwise you'll lose money, but please don't use the school's uniform supply to raise funds!

    Be careful and good luck!
  • GentleGiant_2GentleGiant_2 Forumite
    532 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    Occy wrote: »
    We are in the same boat as a lot of angry parents, my daughter's senior school has one supplier only and they are terrifically expensive (£25 for a grey girls skirt).

    We dutifully ordered items from them two weeks before start of term, I got a phone call saying the did not have the stock the size I wanted and blamed me for ordering too late, geez you can not have it both ways.

    Occy.

    My daughters school has only one supplier for all uniform (except tights!) - the problem is the supplier is the school!

    The quality is also poorer than it used to be when it was supplied by one external company.

    With the school being the supplier it is very hard to complain about quality or any issues.
  • GentleGiant_2GentleGiant_2 Forumite
    532 Posts
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    Slowdown wrote: »
    Schools, by law, are not allowed to make you buy uniform from a specific supplier. They can request you do so but cannot enforce this. They can provide badge for you to put on but if you chose to buy generic uniform for any reason they cannot stop you or in any way penalise you for it.

    This is not true - many schools in Essex have only one supplier (either themselves or one shop)
  • The problem we have is, there doesn't seem to be anywhere to complain about this practice apart from the schools themselves.

    According to the OFT website there is no legislation covering the supply of school uniforms. Who else could we complain to who could help to fight this?

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2006/135-06

    If anyone has any suggestions then maybe someone could post a template letter that we could all use to send off. If enough people complain then we might be able to get something done.

    Maybe a campaign through this site sent out with the next email will drum up some real support, anyone know how to suggest this? It is about moneysaving after all.
  • GentleGiant_2GentleGiant_2 Forumite
    532 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    The added problem is most schools govern themselves these days.

    If schools do not even publish details of Governors (or hide the information at best), what hope is there.....
  • edited 8 September 2011 at 6:40PM
    TechnoBadgerTechnoBadger Forumite
    153 Posts
    edited 8 September 2011 at 6:40PM
    From the OFT document linked to a couple of posts above:

    By comparing prices at exclusive outlets and retailers generally, the OFT estimates the total yearly detriment is £32m for parents buying secondary school uniforms, and £13m for primary school uniforms.

    A third of schools operating exclusive contracts with retailers reported benefiting financially from them. Yet the detriment figure to parents is several times the amount schools say they make from these restrictive arrangements, which suggests that schools are not the chief beneficiary of higher prices paid by parents.


    And these are 2006 figures. So in 2006 the OFT reckoned that restricting parents choice in the purchase of uniform cost the parent group, in total, 45 million pounds. Now there's been quite a bit of inflation over the past few years, particularly (recently) clothing. So maybe this equates to 60 million pounds today? This is something that needs to be sorted out.

    There's a link on the right of that page to some research, the last paragraph of which is:

    We also hope that the findings of our study will be helpful to parents and encourage them in their efforts to change current policy of schools that have exclusive arrangements.
  • sturose wrote: »
    Maybe a campaign through this site sent out with the next email will drum up some real support, anyone know how to suggest this? It is about moneysaving after all.

    How about a private message to MSE Archna, who started this thread?
  • How about a private message to MSE Archna, who started this thread?

    Good idea. Sending PM now.
  • GentleGiant_2GentleGiant_2 Forumite
    532 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    Thank you :)

    About time we also had some facts as to what schools can and cannot do.
  • worriedmum46worriedmum46 Forumite
    344 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts
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    My daughter just started at a local state secondary school and her uniform bill was almost £500. :eek: I have approached the local MP who is not keen to do anything to help - we are not on benefits so get no help with this, she is the oldest of three - it better wear well!! they are all going to be wearing it!!

    I think that there should be a State School uniform! black skirt/trousers/ white shirt and maybe a badge or tie to distinuish the schools. All the schools around here make you buy skirt/ blouse/ etc from the supplier. Its cruel.......................... and pain full
    January 2012 Debenhams Goodie Bag and Conor Maynard Tickets (= happy teenage daughter!).

    Thanks to all who post, and GL to all who try!!
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