THE FOUNDER of the Mold Uniform Recycling Scheme has called for leniency amongst schools when it comes to the wearing of branded uniform items.

Cllr Teresa Carberry, chair of the Education, Youth and Culture Scrutiny Committee on Flintshire Council, who founded the Mold school uniform recycling scheme, has been speaking about the ongoing financial burden of school uniforms.

Cllr Carberry said: "Buying school uniforms is a financial challenge at any time; this has now been exacerbated by the current cost of living crisis, and the further energy cost rises due in October.

"With children growing or changing schools, the next big expense is never far off! Many families try to make cutbacks to pay for items of school clothing, but in the current economic climate, this is simply no longer a viable proposition."

She added: "Within Flintshire, several uniform recycling hubs have formed in response to the need of our community, all with the aim of removing some of the financial burden on families, as well as reducing the amount of good quality, gently worn, school clothing items being sent to landfill.


"There can be no doubt that the cost of buying school uniform, with the required logo on each separate item of clothing, is a great burden and source of stress, even for families eligible for Pupil Development Grants (PDG).

"These recycling hubs rely on the goodwill of the community, who pass on their items to the hubs, to be recycled freely to others. We are always most grateful when the items arrive both washed and ironed, as it saves us a job!"

Cllr Carberry said she had received 'invaluable support' for the collection and storage of the uniform items, by the trustees of The Daniel Owen Community Centre, and has since become a trustee herself.

She added: "I am pleased to say that all schools in Wales received a letter, dated 30th August, from Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, informing them of his intent to update statutory school uniform guidance in Wales, via a consultation process.

"He has tasked his officials to explore options, specifically in respect of logos on school uniforms. Options under consideration will include whether schools should either have no logo at all, or use ‘iron on logos’, to be made available free of charge. This would afford families the opportunity to purchase uniform at a cheaper costs, from a retailer of their choice.

"The Minister has also stated the need to explore whether schools should demonstrate that any benefit of a financial agreement they have with a school uniform supplier, is being passed on to the customer, and is within a reasonable margin of high street retailers. A commendable proposal in my opinion.

"Like the Minister, it is my fervent hope, that schools, during this forthcoming academic year, provide appropriate leniency with regard to the wearing of branded uniform items. Our young people have been through a great deal in the last two years, having them in school, happy and studying has to be the paramount goal.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our school uniform guidance means schools must keep the cost of uniforms to a minimum and many families on lower incomes are eligible for the Pupil Development Grant, to help with the cost of school uniforms and other school items.

“This is the most generous scheme in the UK, and parents and guardians should contact their local authority to check their eligibility and apply.

“We will be updating this guidance shortly. In the meantime, we ask schools to ensure their current uniform policies are inclusive for all.”

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