Citizens Advice calls for urgent enforcing of school costs

More parents still suffering from high school costs 6th February 2009: Many schools are still insisting on expensive uniform which are only available from specialist stockists despite the new guidance on the fair pricing of uniforms, excursions and other school costs which came to effect last year, a new research has shown.
The Government research published this week shows there is urgent need to clamp down on schools flouting guidelines on schools costs.

Evidence from Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) has shown that many parents have been struggling to meet the costs with the number now rising to 65% of those on the lowest income.
The Citizens Advice Social Policy Officer, Katie Lane, said that CABs have been reporting regularly after seeing clients struggling to meet the rising costs of schooling their children.

A parent told a CAB: "My youngest child is starting secondary school in September. It is compulsory to have everything with the embroidered school logo on. This can only be purchased at a specific shop. The cost is really high compared to the same garments I could buy from a supermarket without the logo. My youngest daughter’s uniform will cost me just over one week’s wage."

Lane said: “Now more than ever it is vital that schools are compelled to ensure that the costs of uniforms, trips and other kit aren’t a barrier preventing disadvantaged children from participating fully in their school.”

Citizen Advice also called on local authorities to review their policies on school uniforms grants and assistance with other school costs and asked for clear guidance to be issued for parents on how to challenge unfair pricing policies and for better regulation of the School Admissions code.

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