|School uniform rip-offs revealed Posted by Sophy at 9 07 AM on Sunday, August 22|
MILLIONS of hard-up parents are shelling out £100 over the odds for each kid’s school uniform — because they are forced to buy from expensive suppliers.
A vicious supermarket price war has driven down the cost of school outfits to a six-year low.
But seven out of 10 parents with children at state and private schools can’t take advantage of the deals, because pupils must wear clobber from specialist shops where prices can be more than DOUBLE.
Now angry mums and dads are joining a campaign run by Asda to drive down the cost of a school uniform. The supermarket has launched an online petition, which parents can present to schools and governors.
Savings on just four items — blazers, jumpers, ties and trousers — in our diagram, left, come to £67.73 alone. Then there are other costs such as shirts, socks, PE kit and lab suits.
Mum-of-three Joanne Saipe, 44, of Leeds, said: "I begrudge buying from designated suppliers — especially when the prices can be more than double.
"Our children are growing at a rapid rate. I’ll be lucky to get more than six months out of my son’s £50 blazer."
Mum-of-two Jann Schwen- sen, 38, of Putney, South West London, said: "Life would be much easier and cheaper if individual school logos could be ironed on to supermarket-purchased jumpers, hoodies and trackpants."
Lorraine Appleby, 47, from Yate, near Bristol, who has two daughters, Lucy, 13, and ten- year-old Alex, said: "I have to order items for Lucy from a local sports shop. These are really expensive, for example £14.75 for a white sports polo just because it has the school badge on!" Andrew Moore, managing director of George at Asda, said: "Locking in customers to specific suppliers is a real strain on family budgets at a very expensive time."
Asda is selling a white shirt for £1, Sainsbury’s has trousers for £2 and Tesco is selling a package of polo shirt, sweater and skirt or trousers for just £3.75.
The cost of kitting out a pupil rose from £274 in 2001 to £375 last year, according to charity Citizens Advice. Yet six out of 10 councils have axed school uniform grants — leaving low-income families helpless.
A spokeswoman said: "Too many schools are ignoring government guidance on keeping down the cost of uniforms."
The Local Government Association urged parents to shame schools into dropping prices.
The lobby group’s chair, Lady Eaton, said: "Parents should ask questions of school governors and speak up if they think a uniform is too expensive or too hard to get hold of." To sign the petition visit http:// your.asda.com/schooluniform