Super-expensive school uniform pummels parents’ budgets
Parents question high cost of compulsory uniform for new school
School uniform costs for the newly formed Ysgol Bro Dinefwr have alarmed parents. Ysgol Bro Dinefwr will operate on the sites of Ysgol Tregib in Ffairfach and Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llandovery, pending construction of the controversial new ‘super school’ by the river Tywi at Ffairfach.
The uniform is compulsory for all pupils entering Year 7. Older pupils are expected to buy the new kit when they outgrow their old garments.
Many items have to be purchased from a specialist outfitter rather than from chain stores. The jumpers, which for girls are in an unusual and hard-to-obtain shade of duck-egg blue, cost from £22.50 each, instead of about £6 to £10 from a chain store.
The PE kits are also pricey. Girls are required to wear skorts – a combination of skirt and shorts – which cost from £17. Long-sleeved PE tops are from £16.50 and short-sleeved ones are from £12. “Pupils are supposed to have at least one of each,” said a parent who is alarmed at the high cost of kitting out. “I reckon that the basic cost for one Year 7 pupil will be more than £160, without shoes or sports footwear, and with just one set of PE clothing.”
This is over £100 more than the cost of buying equivalent clothing from chain stores. For parents with more than one child at the school, or whose child has a rapid growth spurt, the additional expense could run into hundreds of pounds.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s insistence on expensive status-symbol school uniforms is odd, to say the least, when so many families struggle to pay everyday bills.
Pat Dodd Racher