Following the passing of the Education (Guidance about costs of school uniforms) Bill through the House of Commons on 12 March, the Schoolwear Association (SA) has welcomed its proposal to place school uniform guidance on a statutory footing.

“We support placing aspects of the current guidance on a statutory footing and consider that this is likely to ensure that all schools have an appropriate uniform policy in place,” explained the SA.

“However, it’s critical that the Bill is implemented appropriately, and that sufficient time is given to schools and families to introduce the guidance, in order to avoid any unintended consequences.”

The SA has stated that the guidance should “consider a range of factors that contribute to an effective school uniform policy, including the quality and durability, sustainability and availability of clothing, as well as its cost”.

Additionally, the guidance should “avoid relaxing uniform requirements, which risks creating greater inequality in schools by creating pressure for families to buy the latest fashion trends”, while schools must also be provided with 18 to 24 months to implement the guidance “to avoid significant unintended consequences for families, if schools feel they must retender uniform contracts and new uniform policies within the next year”.

For the SA’s response in full, visit imagesmag.uk/SA-School-Uniform-Bill.

“The Schoolwear Association welcomes the news that the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill has passed through the House of Commons,” commented Matthew Easter, co-chair of the SA.

“As an organisation we continue to support efforts at a national level that work towards ensuring all schools have an appropriate uniform policy in place.

“We will continue to work closely with the Department for Education to share our experience and expertise to help develop the guidance — as it’s of the upmost importance that with its implementation, we do not lose the many benefits that school uniform has in our schools.

“A sensible school uniform plays a key role in creating a strong school identity and ethos for learning, it encourages higher educational standards and reduces bullying, not to mention the hugely positive impact on social cohesiveness in our schools.

“It’s equally critical that policymakers introduce the guidance in a gradual and phased way to give schools, families and retailers sufficient time to implement the new measures.

“We don’t want to see parents put in a position where they have to buy new uniform items before their children have grown out of their existing ones.”

www.schoolwearassociation.co.uk