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Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:16 am on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Labour, Barnsley East 11:16 am, 13th March 2020

It is a pleasure to follow James Daly. They say every day is a school day: well, thanks to the speech by Chris Green, I now know what a mufti day is.

I congratulate my hon. Friend Mike Amesbury on introducing this important Bill, and I am proud to be a sponsor of it. Last week, I was contacted by a woman whose grandson was given a detention because he did not have the right school shoes. Families are waiting for payday to get their children the right uniforms, and in the meantime pupils are suffering. Many of my constituents have spoken to me about the affordability of school uniforms, including one family who had to pay £200 for one child for school uniform and PE kit. That is completely unacceptable. Buying a school uniform for your child is not a one-time occurrence, because kids grow. Parents and carers spend sleepless nights worrying about how they will pay for new shirts, shoes or trousers. Children from poorer families who are unable to replace worn-out or outgrown items of school uniform struggle, and that has to stop.

Last summer, I launched my school uniform exchange in partnership with Barnsley Council. We placed donation boxes in libraries across Barnsley so that families could benefit from donated items of school uniform that were no longer needed.