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School Uniform Cost is a Burden on Local Parents Says Committee

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 02 September 2015

Reference: EDUC 01/15/16

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education today noted its concern on new research highlighting the spiralling cost to parents of school uniforms.

Committee Chairperson Peter Weir MLA said: “At this time of year, many families are struggling to meet the costs of new school uniforms.  A recent survey has shown that uniforms on average cost local parents around £100 per child in primary school and around £180 per child in post-primary.  The Committee was also shocked to learn that school uniforms for a quarter of all local schools are only available to purchase from one or two retailers. This is at odds with the guidance issued by the Department.”

 Mr Weir concluded: “Although the Clothing Allowances Scheme provides welcome support, this is often simply not enough to cover the costs of those most in need and not available at all to some less well-off working families. The Committee is calling on the Department to take effective action in encouraging schools to use more generic and less branded uniform items and to ensure a wider choice for parents of uniform retailers. This we feel could result in more competitive pricing structures and should importantly lower costs for struggling families

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

Education Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Peter Weir MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Sandra Overend MLA

Jonathan Craig MLA

Chris Hazzard MLA

Ross Hussey MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Nelson McCausland MLA

Maeve McLaughlin MLA

Robin Newton MLA

Sean Rogers MLA

Pat Sheehan MLA

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