Zahawi urged to give school children cheap uniforms in bid to battle cost of living 'pain'

Conservative Parliamentarians are pushing Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and other ministers to help schools adopt schemes to restore second-hand uniforms to help struggling families tackle the cost of living crisis. The group of MPs including Tory MPs Andrew Lewer and former teacher Jonathan Gullis have called on the Government to use new powers to offer families the option of high quality, refurbished affordable school uniforms to tackle the cost of living and tackle the disastrous environmental impact of fast fashion.

Last year the Government was given the power to issue mandatory guidance to schools about the pricing and provision of school uniforms. 

The call comes as the household energy price cap is expected to rise to almost £3,000 in October, shortly after the new school year begins.  

Commenting on the proposal, former teacher and red wall MP Mr Gullis said:  “Many people across the country are feeling the pain of the cost of living crisis. 

“An effective uniform policy improves behaviour and wellbeing, creates a sense of pride in the school and is a sustainable option. 

“It is essential that in these difficult times, parents are given more choice as to how they purchase school uniforms.” 

Mr Lewer MP added: “School uniforms are a great social leveller – preventing any sort of fashion bullying, whilst promoting a sense of unity and belonging. 

“As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, it’s imperative that uniforms remain affordable to families so all children can continue to enjoy the benefits.”

Some uniform providers have already established schemes to offer refurbished, second-hand discounted school uniforms to parents. 

These include Trutex, the world’s first carbon neutral specialist schoolwear provider, who recently launched a national scheme to recycle school uniforms – with an aim to cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent, whilst saving parents about £40 on the cost of purchasing a refurbished uniform.

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Katy Bradford, Chief Operating Officer at Outwood Grange Academy Trust, a highly respected academy group who have introduced a garment recycling scheme with  Trutex, said:  “At Outwood, we take our responsibilities seriously and we are passionate about the environment and promoting the importance of sustainability across the Outwood Family.   

“We believe this campaign, and its focus on recycling, can help not only deliver cost effective benefits for parents but also help spread the important message of sustainability and aid in improving our environment by reducing the amount of clothes in landfill.”  

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