Businesswoman urges schools to change uniform policies

Liverpool businessman and mum Kate Stewart is calling on the Government and schools to make school uniforms more affordable. Tony McDonough reports

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Many parents struggle with the cost of school uniforms, says Kate Stewart


With the new school year about to begin Liverpool businesswoman Kate Stewart says the cost of school uniforms is exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.

Kate, whose business interests include The Sandon entertainment complex in Anfield, says that parents already struggling to buy food for their kids, and heat their homes, are having to fork out for uniforms that are often too expensive.

A mum herself, she wants the Government to intervene to make uniforms more affordable. And she also says schools themselves need to do more to support parents with the cost of uniforms.

“Many schools are working with just one shop or chain who then has the monopoly on the branded uniform displaying the logo for that school,” she explained.

“Branded blazers can cost more than £100 and even jumpers can cost £30 so in these times it’s often not possible for lower income families to afford these items.

“We totally agree that children should wear uniforms to school but we disagree with branding, logos and the monopolised approach and policies.

“All I am asking schools to do is to change their uniform policies to allow plain or unbranded uniforms as an alternative.

“We believe parents should be able to buy the entire school uniform from high street shops or supermarkets, many of which have a good range of generic and affordable uniforms.”

Last summer Kate bought 250 sets of uniform and donated them to local councillors to distribute to their respective areas. This year she will be doing the same and she is also calling on local businesses to support her initiative.


Kate Stewart
Liverpool businesswoman and owners of The Sandon, Kate Stewart


She added: “Schools could also provide parents with iron-on badges if they want the uniforms to be branded or display school logos.

“Some items, such as blazers, aren’t just expensive to buy or replace if lost, but they are also expensive to maintain as they might be made from materials like wool and maybe can only be dry cleaned.

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“It’s just not sustainable for families anymore to be able to do that if they even could in the first place.

“We need to make school uniforms more affordable and more accessible and just help out those who need it most. It’s often the children that are suffering and I cannot just sit back and watch.”

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