PARENTS think schools should abandon strict branded uniform rules and allow them to go for cheaper options, especially as many families are already struggling with rising bills in the cost of living crisis.

Last year the Children's Society said the average cost per year for pupils at secondary school was almost £340. This year the Department for Education has told schools they must make sure their contracts with suppliers are competitive, consider allowing high street alternatives and encourage parents to use second-hand uniforms.

We asked readers if pupils should be allowed to wear non-branded uniforms to school. The response on social media was an overwhelming "yes."

Here's what parents said

Anna Church: "Yes they should. The prices of school uniforms are so expensive. It's just not fair on the parents who just cannot afford the uniforms.

"Even though my child is now an adult i still see how some parents are struggling to pay their bills so for me why can't they buy cheaper uniforms as long as the colours are the same."

Julie Ann Brebner: "Yes. The branded school uniforms cost a fortune and if you have a large family it’s simply unaffordable. I think a better solution would be to have sew-on badges. A lot cheaper and everyone would have the same."

Angela Atkinson: "When I was at secondary school a million years ago - it was sew-on badges. We didn't have uniforms in primary school. I agree all the branded stuff is a nightmare."

Beckie Paddington: "Yes! How a logo can possibly affect children's education baffles me.

"The only way it’ll affect children is when those who cannot afford logo uniform/choose not to use it will be singled out, when they needn’t be!"

Debi Elliott: "I don’t object to the Blazers, but the compulsory branded PE kit is completely unnecessary and such a blatant money grab, £75 for a PE kit when literally a white T-shirt & black shorts would be just as good and ‘uniform'."

Karen Allen: "Absolutely. All branded schoolwear is ridiculously priced and is impossible for families to afford to buy them.

"As long as the kids are in the same school colours and look the same why should it matter. Been to one store today to buy for my grandkids and they have some really great bargains, affordable to most of us.

"Schools should sell at a discount pre-owned or outgrown uniforms."

Jamie Turner: "Yes. If the school want their brand on it, provide the parents with iron-on patches. This move would really help with some parents costs."

Alexandra Mancari: "Yes definitely. My children’s school insist on an embroidered blazer being worn at all times, but also demands the plain v-neck jumper be embroidered too- despite the fact that nobody sees it."

Jayde Cotterill: "Yes. School colours, smart clothes e.g. from Asda school shop or similar.

"Branded everything is ridiculous and SO expensive. Especially when children grow so quickly and unfortunately things often get lost at school etc so there's always something to buy again.

"I've spent so much on uniforms over the years."

Ryan Wheeler: "Yes as long as they look smart & they’re in the school’s colours then there shouldn’t be a problem."

Adam Jenson: "I have said for years just let them wear what they want, sod the uniforms it works in the USA."

Samantha Amie: "Yes it's cheaper!

"With most people struggling to buy essentials right now, how can they be expected to spend hundreds on uniforms that children outgrow so quickly!"