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Uniform stress for all at the weekend
8:10pm Sunday 1st September 2013 in News
SCHOOL uniform can be the bane of a parent’s life at the best of times, let alone during the last weekend before the start of a new term.
Parents all over the town were rushing around to try and kit out their youngsters as shops started selling out of blouses, trousers and gym shorts.
To make matters worse, the cost of preparing children for the new term has risen by 27 per cent compared to last year and parents can expect to pay on average £224 per child, according to research by Santander.
Claire Thackray, 30, of Gorse Hill, who has one child at Churchfields Academy and the other at Ferndale Community Primary School, said: “I have to order the uniform in and if the sizes aren’t right we have to pay to send it back. It’s £18 for a cardigan and since the older one is doing GCSE PE she needs all the other kit for that too. I’m paying in excess of £250. I think the cost has definitely gone up.
“I think the school has got to be more relaxed about uniform. People can’t afford it and then they are told their kids could be excluded if they don’t have the right shoes.”
Samantha Amie, a mum of two youngsters, was also feeling the pinch this year. Commenting on the Adver Facebook page, she said: “I think it’s just ridiculous the amount people are having to shell out, not just every year but throughout the year.
“Plus schools these days do not take into account the fact that within a matter of weeks of the children being back at school, there is the added costs of school photos and trips that we as parents are then expected to be able to afford on top of just having shelled out for uniforms.
“I spend at least £150 on each of my kids, which I think is ridiculous. If the school wants them in a uniform then they should supply all items requiring a logo as my two needed jumpers, PE bags, book bags, fleece, all requiring logo on them.
“It’s £10 per jumper and £30 each fleece and £10 per book bag and PE bags are £10 each. That’s £70 per child already for next to nothing.
“Within a matter of weeks our kids will be having school photos done at the added cost of £30 plus, not to mention letters for school trips.”
Many parents these days stock up on uniform through the major supermarkets like ASDA and Tesco, where uniform flies off the shelves through the summer holidays. But specialist school uniform store Trutex, in the town centre, is the only shop in Swindon which stocks all the uniform for schools in the town, including all the items with logos, throughout the year.
Owner David Henshaw, who has been running the store for the past 14 years, said: “We have held our prices now on logoed uniform for at least two years. We’ve had increases in prices from our suppliers which we’ve avoided passing on.
“On average our customers spend no more than £30 when they come in.
“I think people have a preconception that school uniform is expensive, but it isn’t compared to the alternatives like designer gear.
“People also seem to think you have to buy it all at once, because that’s what the supermarkets suggest. It’s not a lot, when you consider that the children wear it five days a week for 48 weeks of the year.”
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