Glasgow parents group launch consultation for more cost effective and gender neutral school uniforms

A Glasgow parents group has called for pupils to be allowed to wear uniform items without school crests and polo shirts instead of a shirt and tie to keep the cost down for families.

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They believe making pupils wear specifically branded clothes and certain colours forces parents to buy from one supplier, which is more expensive. It comes as the Scottish Government holds a consultation on school uniforms inviting children and parents to have their say.

The Glasgow City Parents Group also want to see more gender neutral options available for wearing.

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A spokeswoman for the group said: “We would love to see the school uniform simplified to a more generic uniform with some key basics required, only. For example, a white polo shirt instead of a white shirt and tie, and black or grey bottoms. These items are more widely available across a variety of retailers.

“Whereas when you get into the more niche or unique colour combinations, you can often be limited to one uniform supplier, at a cost.”

The Scottish Government plans to introduce statutory guidance on uniforms to address equality around policy and reduce cost.

The parents group spokeswoman said: “We welcome the school uniform consultation from the Scottish Government. In the current climate, we believe it’s important that schools put the cost of the school day at the forefront of everything they do. However, we are aware that sometimes uniform policy can be driven by the parent forum in a school.”

She pointed out “while some families feel that the additional items of a school-branded PE kit or a prefect blazer are affordable, there will also be many families who struggle to afford these additional items.”

And the parent representative warned some mums and dads “may not feel empowered enough to say anything, so schools need to engage with their parent forum to explain how these decisions can impact families.”

Explaining how school’s can still display their logo, the parent representative said: “Schools can still show their own identity by selecting one item like a sweatshirt in their school colour, with a logo, making the uniform more cost-effective and sustainable. A more basic uniform would also be beneficial for pupils with mobility or sensory challenges.”

The Glasgow City Parents Group also said uniform choices need to be “driven to more gender-neutral options to reflect equality in how children are treated and how they see each other.”

They would also like to see more uniforms reused and have pointed out specific branded primary or secondary garments can only be used in one school instead of across multiple sites.

The school uniform consultation will run until October 14.

For more information visit the consultation website.