Bid to boost affordability of school uniform
New campaign for a tax exempt salary sacrifice scheme to help parents budget for school uniform.
By Laura Turner
13 June 2014
The Schoolwear Association (SA) has launched a national campaign to make school uniform more affordable for hardworking families.
The SA, whose members clothe three quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, wants the government to introduce a scheme similar to childcare vouchers to make school uniform tax deductible. If approved, this scheme would allow workers at participating employers to receive a small part of their salary each month as vouchers that would be redeemable at participating schoolwear retailers.
“We know for many families, purchasing school uniform can sometimes be a worry,” says Matthew Easter, chair of the Schoolwear Association. “We think the government should help by providing for a tax-exempt voucher scheme along the lines of childcare vouchers. It’s good for education, good for children and good for hardworking families.”
The campaign has attracted support from website dadzclub.com, whose founder Craig Hodgson says, “We think it’s a great initiative and are fully behind it. School uniform is something to be proud of, but it can also be a costly affair for parents. This scheme will certainly help parent budget and plan for those torn trousers and lost jumpers.”
Children spend more time in school uniform than in their own clothes. A poll for the SA showed the average child wears his or her uniform for ten hours a day (1,500 hours a year), and it has to stand up to the rigours of everyday school life. Children get through on average four pieces of uniform a year.
The Schoolwear Association campaigns to educate parents and teachers about the value of good quality, smart-looking, long-lasting uniform, rather than opting for the cheapest garments on the shelf.
To bring the idea to the attention of the Prime Minister, the SA is urging parents to sign the following e-petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65790
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