Call for schools to be banned from demanding branded uniforms

Friday June 14th 2024


Some schools in Midlothian like Rosewell Primary already make the badge on its uniforms optional for parents

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Midlothian councillors are being asked to ban schools from demanding children wear uniforms with school logos on them.

A motion due to go before councillors this month says the cost of a uniform with a school emblem sown on can be more than three times the cost of a basic unbranded version.

And it calls on councillors to back its calls for an immediate stop to schools being able to demand parents buy the more expensive outfits.

The Labour group motion says: “One of the main reasons for the introduction of school uniforms was to reduce the financial pressures on families.

“However, over time the way the policy has been implemented and evolved, has resulted in significant increases in costs and consequential pressures on family finances.

“Since the introduction of school uniforms some schools have required or requested that uniforms have the school’s logos embroidered on these.

“Over the years the cost of embroidered jerseys, sweatshirts, polo shirts and tee shirts has become far more expensive than buying plain coloured ones from retail or online stores. This is partly due to the fact that there is little competition in this market.”

The motion gives as an example the cost for families of buying six red polo shirts for a 9-10year-old from Marks & Spencer at £24 and six red sweatshirts for the same age at £36 – a total cost of £60.

It says buying the same six polo shirts with an embroidered logo would cost £88.20 with a further £103.20 for six branded sweaters – a total of  £191.40.

Many schools across the county already make the school logo optional with some promoting supermarket chains as possible suppliers on their websites.

Low income families in Midlothian can also apply for a school uniform grant from the local authority which  is worth £120 for primary aged children.

The Labour group motion, which will be discussed at a full council meeting on June 25, calls for all schools to

“immediately stop requiring or requesting parents and carers to purchase school clothing with embroidered school logos” and was lodged by Councillor Kelly Drummond, seconded by Councillor Stephen Curran.

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