0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

school uniform under media spotlight

11 September 2019

The new academic year has started with controversy over school uniform. Last week, a government inquiry heard evidence that costs for parents are being exacerbated by compulsory branded uniform, including clothing with school logos, and operating contractual arrangements for the supply of these items with single retailers.

Current DfE non-statutory guidance on school uniform from 2013 advises schools to give “high priority to cost considerations” and to avoid exclusive single supplier contracts “unless regular tendering competitions are run”. The guidance also directs school to consider their obligations under the Equality Act not to directly or indirectly discriminate against pupils on grounds of sex when introducing or applying uniform policies. This is a particularly challenging area for schools as they seek to reconcile a traditional gendered approach to schools uniform with the needs of transgender pupils.

Schools may want to take the opportunity to reflect on their current uniform policy in light of recent commentary. Assuming the present attention continues, it is likely that the DfE will introduce new guidance and may seek to put this on a statutory footing to give it greater weight.

related opinions

General election 2019 - implications for schools

Parliament has announced that a general election will take place in the UK on Thursday 12 December 2019. Schools are popular places for polling stations and whilst some larger schools are able to continue to operate on election day, many smaller schools are forced to close.

View blog

Admission policies may confuse disadvantaged families

In the run up to the deadline for completing the application form for secondary admissions for September 2020 entry, the Good Schools Guide has reported that some admission policies for state funded schools may confuse parents who are less affluent, work at weekends or have English as an additional language.

View blog

SEND Reforms necessary but flawed

The House of Commons’ Education Committee has published a review of the SEND reforms which were implemented from 2014 onwards.

View blog

Is the SEND system working?

A recent report from the Local Government Ombudsman has highlighted significant concerns with the operation of the SEND system which is resulting in 87% of parental complaints against local authorities on SEND being upheld by the Ombudsman.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up