To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support his Department provides to low-income families in England in relation to the cost of (a) school uniforms, (b) sports kits and (c) uniforms for (i) cadets, (ii) scouts and guides and (iii) out of school sports teams.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will hold discussions with his Welsh counterpart on the potential merits of providing funding to cover the cost of (a) school uniforms (b) sports kits and (c) uniforms for (i) cadets, (ii) scouts and guides and (iii) out of school sports teams for low income households.
The department is in constant engagement with its Welsh counterparts.
A school’s governing body (or academy trust, in the case of academies) is responsible for making decisions about school uniform, including the PE kit.
Local authorities have discretionary powers to provide grants to assist parents with the cost of school uniform in cases of financial hardship and academies are free to do similar. Individual schools may wish to consider running schemes to provide assistance with the cost of uniform.
The department’s guidance on school uniform is clear that schools should give high priority to cost considerations. The guidance is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.
Decisions on uniform for optional extra-curricular activities are the responsibility of the relevant organising body. The Ministry of Defence provides uniform for those participating in the Cadet Expansion Programme.