National school uniform consultation launched

Friday May 20th 2022


Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

A consultation on school uniform has been launched to help shape new national guidance.

The Scottish Government has committed to introduce statutory guidance in Scotland which aims to address equality issues around uniform policy and reduce the cost of school uniform, as this can be a significant barrier to participation in learning.

The consultation to inform the national guidance was launched this week, with a wide range of views being sought, including from schools, families, education authorities and suppliers. There will also be engagement with young people to seek their views.

The consultation seeks views on:

– what should be included within the scope of the guidance

– the role that school uniform plays within the ethos, culture and day to day school life

– the considerations available to schools and education authorities in reducing school uniform costs

– the draft principles which are intended to be incorporated as part of national school uniform policy

Local authorities and individual schools decide on school uniform policy at local level. The national guidance, which will be underpinned by a range of principles, will inform those policies. There is no legal requirement to wear school uniform in Scotland and the new guidance is not intended to change this or to mandate the wearing of school uniform at national level.

The consultation will run until 14 October 2022.

The Programme for Government and the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Green Party committed to increase the level of school clothing grant and bring forward national guidance on school uniform in Scotland which supports the reduction of the cost of school uniform for families.

The level of school clothing grant increased to at least £120 for primary school pupils and £150 for secondary school pupils from the start of the new school year in 2021.

Christine Grahame MSP has encouraged pupils, parents and carers to give their views on a consultation on school uniform to help shape new national guidance.

Ms Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, said:

“As a former secondary school teacher myself, I know first hand both the positives and negatives school uniform policy can bring.

“School uniform can promote a sense of identity, belonging and connectedness to school, putting pupils on a more even footing. However, in some instances the cost can be a significant burden for families so there is a balance to be struck.

“The Scottish Government has increased the school clothing grant to help families who need it most. Now it’s intend to go further by bringing forward national guidance aimed at reducing uniform costs. This could mean, for example, increasing the use of generic items of uniform.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest to have their say on how this guidance should look. It is essential that the views of children and young people are heard as part of this consultation.”

You can take part here: HERE

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