THE FOUNDER of the Mold Uniform Recycling Scheme called for leniency among schools regarding the wearing of branded uniform items.
Cllr Teresa Carberry, Chair of Flintshire Council’s Education, Youth and Culture Review Committee, which founded the school uniform recycling scheme Mold, spoke about the ongoing financial burden of school uniforms.
Cllr Carberry said: “Buying school uniforms is a financial challenge at all times; this has now been exacerbated by the current cost of living crisis and further energy cost increases expected in October.
“With kids growing up or changing schools, the next big expense is never far away! Many families try to save money to pay for school clothes, but in today’s economic climate, that’s just not no longer a viable proposition.”
She added: “Across Flintshire, several uniform recycling centers have formed in response to the needs of our community, all with the aim of removing some of the financial burden from families, as well as reducing the amount of good quality schools, slightly worn clothing items sent to landfill.
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“There is no doubt that the cost of purchasing the school uniform, with the required logo on each separate item of clothing, is a heavy burden and a source of stress, even for families eligible for student development grants (CEO ).
“These recycling centers rely on the goodwill of the community, who pass their items on to the centres, to be recycled to others free of charge. We are always very grateful when items arrive washed and ironed, as it saves us a job !”
Cllr Carberry said she received ‘invaluable support’ with the collection and storage of uniform items, from administrators at the Daniel Owen Community Center, and has since become an administrator herself.
She added: “I am pleased to say that all schools in Wales have received a letter, dated August 30, from Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, advising them of his intention to update the statutory guidelines on school uniforms in Wales, through a consultation process.
“He has instructed his officials to explore options, particularly regarding logos on school uniforms. Options under consideration will include whether schools should either have no logos or use ‘iron on’ logos’, which will be made available free of charge, allowing families to purchase uniforms at a lower cost from a retailer of their choice.
“The minister also said there was a need to explore whether schools would have to demonstrate that any benefit from a financial arrangement they have with a school uniform supplier is passed on to the customer and is within a reasonable margin. from the retailers on the main street. A laudable proposition in my opinion.
“Like the minister, I fervently hope that schools, during this coming school year, will show appropriate leniency in the wearing of branded uniform items. Our young people have been through a lot these last two years, doing them at school, being happy and studying must be the primary objective.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: ‘Our school uniform guidelines mean schools must keep the cost of uniforms to a minimum and many low-income families are eligible for the Pupil Development Grant, to help cover the cost of school uniforms and other school items.
“This is the most generous scheme in the UK, and parents and guardians should contact their local authority to check their eligibility and apply.
“We will update these guidelines shortly. In the meantime, we ask schools to ensure that their current uniform policies are inclusive for all. »