Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Rising Cost of School Uniforms

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Rising Cost of School Uniforms

Article excerpt

IT'S the time of year when parents are forking out for new school uniforms for their children. JOANNA DESIRA finds out what is the true cost of looking smart and is it worth it? THE cost of going back to school has risen by pounds 27m in the past 12 months, new research has revealed.

And the most expensive items are school uniforms and sports kits.

The research by investment group LV has also found 85% of the 2,000 parents questioned were planning to buy new school uniform, with the typical cost per item standing at pounds 50.

The average family cost of going back to school, including spending on uniforms, stationery, sportswear and school books, pounds 125 or pounds 77 per child.

And 58% of those questioned felt under pressure to spend more on school uniform this year.

Jennie Pawlett, 37, from Guisborough, is mum to Olivia, 16, Samuel, 15, Neve, six, and Phoebe, four.

She has just completed the shop for new uniform and estimates she has spent over pounds 400.

Olivia has left school but Jennie has to buy uniform for Samuel, who goes to Laurence Jackson, and Olivia and Phoebe who go to St Paulinus.

She chooses to shop in Marks and Spencer mainly, while some items for the smaller ones are bought at Bambini's in Guisborough and from St Paulinus itself. "It is quite expensive for me having to pay for so many," she said.

Jennie added she considered the quality of the clothes to be most important.

"I go for quality over how cheap it is and M&S is really good value. It has to wash well otherwise you end up spending again and I think M&S is the cheapest around.

"You can wash them again and most of their things will last the year, unless they have a massive growth spurt.

"I like them to look really smart when they go to school and wearing uniform means they are wearing the same as everyone else." The most expensive item Jennie bought were shoes for Samuel at pounds 55 from Foot Asylum.

"He won't wear any school shoes anymore - peer pressure means he has to wear certain shoes. …

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