New uniform policy could lower the cost of the school day says Green MSP

Another Scottish Green manifesto commitment is set to be delivered as the Scottish Government today launches a consultation on new national guidance intended to cap the cost of school uniforms.

Views are being sought from young people and their families, as well as schools, local councils and uniform suppliers, with the aim of both reducing the cost of the school day and addressing equalities issues such as gendered school uniform rules which see young women and girls pay more for their uniforms.

The development of this guidance was a commitment of the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government, alongside an already delivered increase in the School Clothing Grant.

It is hoped that new rules will address the financial issues caused to families when schools set needlessly specific uniform policies, use expensive exclusive providers for products such as blazers and do not consider the cost of mandatory additional items such as PE kits.

Scottish Greens education spokesperson first proposed statutory school uniform guidance in the last session of Parliament and has welcomed the consultation as an opportunity to support families facing the cost of living crisis.

Greer said:

“School uniforms often place huge costs on families due to overly specific policies and too few suppliers, particularly at high school level. This new national guidance is an opportunity to let young people, parents and carers choose good value clothing which meets their school’s rules without needing to buy from expensive specialist retailers.

“This is also an opportunity to promote equality in our classrooms through inclusive guidance, from removing unnecessary rules around what each gender should wear, to ensuring appropriate options for religious clothing. I hope that as many young people as possible make their voices heard over the course of the consultation so that any new guidance works for them.

“As another Green manifesto commitment moves towards become a reality, I am proud that we are taking every effort we can to help households who are really struggling through the cost of living crisis. Taken alongside our delivery of free bus travel for young people, increasing the Scottish Child Payment and other efforts, the impact of Greens in government is clear.”