Press release

New school uniform guidance published

The Department for Education has published new guidance to help schools which may be developing or changing their pupil uniform policy.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Students looking at an interactive whiteboard

The best practice guidance is aimed at helping local authorities, governing bodies, headteachers and school staff (in maintained schools and academies) make decisions on school uniforms.

Schools Minister David Laws said that, in particular, the new guidance placed greater emphasis on how schools should try to secure value for money for parents around school uniforms.

It suggests that schools should:

  • avoid exclusive single-supplier contracts except when regular tendering competitions are run, in which more than 1 supplier can compete for the contract, and where best value can be secured
  • not enter into ‘cash back’ arrangements
  • not insist that pupils wear expensive items of uniform
  • not make frequent changes to uniform specifications
  • seek to select items that can be purchased cheaply, for example, in a supermarket or other good value shop
  • keep compulsory branded items to a minimum

This new guidance updates that published in May 2012. It is due to be reviewed again in summer 2015.

DfE enquiries

Published 20 September 2013