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School Uniform Funding and Policy

School Uniform can be expensive if you have a child or young person with a disability or additional needs as you often need to have multiple sets – which can include jumpers, blazers, PE Kit or polo shirts etc. that display the school logo.

Hampshire County Council is unable to provide money to help with your child’s uniform. Speak to your child’s school if you are having difficulties buying uniform. They may be able to help.

The Government has produced guidance for schools and academies and their governing bodies when determining their own school uniform policies. The general recommendation is that if you are unhappy with your child or young person’s individual schools’ policy then you should challenge this with their governing body. The following sections of this guidance may help to support you in doing this:

We strongly recommend that in setting its uniform/appearance policy the governing body:

  • Consider the cost, the available supply sources and year-round availability of the proposed uniform to ensure it is providing best value for money for parents

Once a policy has been agreed, we recommend that the governing body:

  • Consider carefully reasonable requests to vary the policy, in particular to meet the needs of any individual pupil to accommodate their religion or belief, ethnicity, disability or other special considerations.

When considering how the school uniform should be sourced:

  • Governing bodies should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. The school uniform should be easily available for parents to purchase and schools should seek to select items that can be purchased cheaply, for example in a supermarket or other good value shop. Schools should keep compulsory branded items to a minimum and avoid specifying expensive items of uniform e.g. expensive outdoor coats.
  • Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers.

We would therefore suggest that you request a copy of your child or young person’s School Uniform Policy. It will also help to request information or for more details on the following:

  • Whether there is a preferred supplier list and their pricing for individual items with logos
  • Whether this supplier will allow for uniform to be paid for in instalments
  • If your child or young person’s school have a hardship fund for uniform
  • If they have a second-hand uniform scheme

The Government guidance suggests contacting your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help you to challenge your school’s policy if you feel that this is unfair, or you are being forced to purchase expensive items of uniform. To find your local branch of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau visit: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau will also be able to advise on any grants or loans that you may be eligible for as a family.

 

Family Support Organisations

The following organisations may be able to provide more support, advice and information:

Our new policy is that applications for school uniform will only be considered where the applicant satisfies the following conditions:

  • Details of the uniform, including supplier and cost, is provided;
  • Other funding, such as a Local Council or school grant, is not available;
  • Evidence of financial need;
  • Evidence of another disadvantage is also provided.

Unfortunately, even within this criteria not all eligible applicants will be successful due to the large demand for school uniform funding and the fact that they try not to place limits on the amount of funding a family can receive for uniform.

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