School uniform

Schools and their governors decide whether there should be a school uniform and what it includes. They should consult parents when developing their uniform policy and publish it on the school website.

Cost of school uniforms

Schools must follow legal guidance on the cost of school uniforms which includes making sure they’re affordable. The cost should never be a barrier to families and pupils applying for and attending a school.

Schools should make sure:

  • they limit the number of branded items in the uniform

  • second-hand uniforms are available

Information on how to buy second-hand uniforms should be published on the school’s website.

If you cannot afford the uniform or the PE kit, you should contact the headteacher to check what support is available.

You may be able to get help with school uniform costs. If you live in England, contact your local council to find out if there is support in your area.

If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

You may be able to get a school uniform grant if:

If your child does not follow the rules on the uniform

The headteacher can discipline your child for not wearing the school uniform. The rules on the uniform will be in your school’s behaviour policy, which you can ask to see.


Schools can decide their own uniform policy. If you think it discriminates against your child, talk to the headteacher. For example, although schools may have different uniforms for boys and girls, there should not be a significant difference in price.

If you think the school is discriminating against your child, check your rights on protected characteristics.

Complain about school uniform

You can contact the school if you have a complaint about the uniform. They must explain clearly on their website how you can do this. Contact the Department for Education if you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.