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Parents forced to borrow money to cover cost of school uniforms
2:20pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A QUARTER of parents will have to borrow money to buy their children’s school uniform this year, a study has found.
The survey by the Citizens Advice Bureau found that going back to school is putting a huge financial burden on the household finances.
The Halton branch is urging schools to help cut costs as a third of unemployed parents will resort to borrowing while 23 per cent of parents don’t know how they will pay for it.
CAB volunteer adviser and parent of two, Gill Evans, said: “One Halton parent who sought help from the CAB, fearing her child will get into trouble for not wearing the correct uniform, in desperation had taken out a payday loan and is now struggling to make ends meet.
“I just don’t understand why schools won’t allow parents to buy the cheaper generic PE kits which are more readily available in supermarkets.”
Some parents are having to find different ways to kit their kids out for school, a third have saved up over the year, while only a fifth of parents earn enough to absorb the cost.
Citizens Advice discovered 72 per cent of parents have to buy their kids’ uniform from a specific shop that can charge up to £10 more per item.
Parents have suggested that schools could help by holding second hand uniform sales at summer and Christmas fairs and allowing children to wear generic uniforms bought from cheaper shops.
Hitesh Patel, chief executive of Halton CAB, said: “Mums and dads shouldn’t have to resort to borrowing money to pay for new school kit. School uniforms need to be affordable.
“It’s really important the schools bear in mind the current squeeze on household budgets when they set uniform policy and think about what help they can offer parents if the uniform needs to change because of a school merger or because it becomes an academy.”
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