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MSE Poll: Are you allowed to buy cheap school uniforms?

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MSE Poll: Are you allowed to buy cheap school uniforms?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
5 replies 2.1K views
MSE_NaomiMSE_Naomi MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 10 September 2019
Buying new school uniform can be a costly exercise – especially if your child has to wear pricey branded items.

So does your child's school let you buy from supermarkets, or are you restricted to a specific shop?
Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below.

If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.

Thanks! :)


  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Gosh, am I the first to comment? There has been some outcry about my son's secondary school uniform for many years. They are extremely strict, and sanctions are applied if you don't follow the uniform regulations. I am not going to identify it but it is the only secondary school in a town with a population of around 30000 people. There is another school in the next town with decent uniform regulations but it is hard to get a place there if you aren't in the catchment.

    This year, they actually e-mailed parents photos of what constitute acceptable, and unacceptable footwear just in case we are all daft!

    Thankfully, my son didn't grow out of everything at once this year (and in fact may have stopped growing) so we only needed shoes this term. The full uniform, including PE kit is, I think, around £80 and the school have a fund which can help those who struggle to afford uniform.

    Here is the uniform guidance

    The******************************* School Uniform is smart and formal and there should be no alterations to the style of each garment. The following garments apply to all year groups except where specific details are provided for individual year groups.
    Blazer: Black blazer with school logo. *
    Tie: School tie - *** with **** stripes. *
    Jumper: (Optional) Black V-necked jumper. Sweatshirt material is not permitted. The school blazer must be worn over it.
    Shirt: White shirt with a collar that will take a tie.
    Trousers: Black trousers with school logo* (two styles available for boys and girls).
    Skirts: Black pleated skirt with school logo. * Skirt must be within 2” of the knee.
    Tights and socks: Black or natural plain tights. If visible, socks must be plain black.
    Shoes: Black flat shoes. All visible parts of the shoe must be plain black. No brand to be identified through logos, symbols or labels. No boots.
    (For years 7-10 from September 2019 - Formal, black, flat/low broad heeled leather/leather-look shoes no higher than 3cm. Please see further guidance.)
    Make-up and jewellery: Make-up needs to be natural and not conspicuous. One small stud earring appropriate for the school setting in each ear lobe is permitted and a watch.
    Hair: Extreme accessories or hairstyles and/or unnatural colours are not acceptable.
    Fashion accessories: A number of items count as fashion items and therefore it is not possible to make a complete list. Known items not permitted at school are; jewellery, facial piercings, ear stretchers, over the knee socks, large belts or buckles, scarves, hats.
    Where there is any doubt the school will decide whether the clothing is acceptable uniform.

    *Items marked with asterisk must be purchased from one of the school’s approved suppliers.
  • edited 11 September 2019 at 8:42AM
    GuisemienGuisemien Forumite
    1 posts
    edited 11 September 2019 at 8:42AM
    I am utterly disgusted with the longevity, durability and overall quality of the uniform forced upon every student attending our local state funded secondary school.

    Garments are heavily overpriced and at a starting cost of £18 or £20 for a skirt/trousers. I feel very ripped off. I feel the same regarding with ALL the specified uniform and it's quite a list enforced by the school.

    I believe a skirt in almost identical quality/choice could be brought for £3 from a supermarket, but would not have the poorly applied three purple letters of the school embroidered onto the hem!

    How can this policy be fair to the most low income, working families and surely these inflexible uniform policies hit them hardest?

    I have been buying uniform for my family for 28 years and I would NEVER in my wildest dreams spend my hard earned wages on such utter rubbish.

    The uniform is a poor fit and fails most body shapes attending the school. It cannot even be tumble dried? Most students look scruffy by Christmas with the poor wear of the garments. This is on the provision that the items have not split at seams/dropped hems/ripped/worn through?

    One of the reasons for implementing the uniform was on grounds of modesty???? It is exceptionally hard to have knee length skirts when no choice available for tall but slim kids, every skirt looks like cheap netball skirts and they do not offer varying fits (unlike some other well known high street clothing stores, I would have a preference to spend my income in and my daughter would feel wholly more confident in)

    If your child attends with anything other than the appalling quality blazer, skirt/trousers/pe kit/socks/jumpers specified at ONE local outlet, they are put in isolation? How can this assist a child's education, sense of worth?

    I am disgusted with the unapproachable nature of the decision makers at the school and they ignore any complaints regarding shambolic quality and suffocate any parental discussion on the matter.

    Surely there is some way of forcing the school to review the penalising policies they have implemented? To review whom supplies the uniform/where it can be sourced from?

    Every secondary school in Nottinghamshire seems to have these dreadful uniform policies in place. I take pride in sending my children to school well turned out and it is impossible to do so in this enforced rubbish.

    My son went to a fee paying, private school and even this school had a far more flexible attitude to where to source the specified garments. Freedom to buy smart clothing did not stop my Son from wanting to be smart and well presented...nor did a M&S/JLP sourced blazer negativity impact his studies!!!

    Any advice greatly received and how to stop this unfair monopoly?
  • Theres no option for 'all items must be branded/from specific supplier'.

    I'm not a parent, but I work in a school where this is the case (fee paying)
    Please excuse my bad spelling and missing letters-I post here using either my iPhone or rathr rubbishy netbook, neither of whch have excellent keyboards! Sorry!
  • I also missed the option for 'all items must be branded/from specific supplier' and this is for a free secondary state school. The quality is awful and it is really expensive, I know that some parents have been saving up since primary school to be able to afford it, I think this is just so wrong... I only bought the absolute minimum required for my twins (1 set each) and it cost me £580. This school also posts pictures of which shoes are allowed. I really don't understand how this will make them learn any better (other than the value of money maybe...?)
  • Baileys_BabeBaileys_Babe Forumite
    3.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Where is the option for "child educated otherwise, no uniform nor dress restrictions"?
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