Labour’s Deputy Chair of the Children, Young People & Skills Committee, Councillor Kate Knight, has this week written to Headteachers and Chairs of Governors across the city to call for the relaxing of school uniform policies.
As we look towards the ‘new normal’ and schools returning safely, we must recognise the significant economic challenges many families have faced in the lockdown period on reduced or no wages.
In her letter, Brighton & Hove City Councillor Kate Knight said:
“I want to thank you for all you have done and are continuing to do to support young people and their families through this very challenging time…
“…Prior to Covid-19, one of the major issues that arose during our focus on ‘Poverty Proofing the School Day’ was the cost of school uniforms.
“For those starting new schools, or who have grown out of their uniforms, the costs of new items of uniform were already a potential barrier for some families.
“I believe that following lockdown, this problem will be much more significant for families this September. Now, more than ever, the cost of a school uniform could cause serious hardship.
“So, I am writing to ask that you urgently consider relaxing school uniform policies. In particular, I would like to suggest allowing pupils to wear items available on the high street that are easy care and cheaper to buy – especially in the short term and in recognition of the exceptional times we are in.”
Councillor Knight is meeting with headteachers next week, for a discussion and a sharing of ideas on the best way forward.
The Brighton & Hove Labour Group of Councillors support the idea, introduced by Mike Amesbury MP, of statutory guidance limiting the number of more expensive branded items required for a school uniform. https://schoolsweek.co.uk/uniform-bill-mp-wants-restriction-on-branded-items/