Hull mum’s outrage at school uniform prices after spending £242 – with more still to buy

A Hull mum says she is outraged at the “sheer cost” of school uniforms.

Jennifer Gilmour, an author and blogger, went shopping last week and forked out a whopping £242 – and says the worst part is that she still has a lot more to buy.

Read more: Inquiry urged into the reason boys underperform at school compared with girls

The mum-of-three to Sophie, Riley, and Robin, wants change to be implemented so parents sending their children back to the classroom don’t have to spend a fortune during the summer holidays on school gear.

Jennifer Gilmour’s children Sophie, Robin, and Riley
(Image: Jennifer Gilmour)

Her children are 11, nine, and five years old – with one starting secondary school and the other two at Wheeler Primary.

Jennifer said: “We recognise that there is a cost when sending kids back to school but it’s the sheer price of it all. It seems like it is a way of the schools making more money.

“I find the issue to be especially problematic with secondary school. There’s no budget alternatives to the branded uniforms so you cannot find alternatives in the supermarkets etc.

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“I have spent £242 already and I’ve not finished buying. I paid £60 for three pairs of shoes. Our eldest is starting high school and on him alone I spent £120.

“Why can’t we use our own blazers and print the school badge on top. Some schools have their own houses as well so you have to have a specific coloured tie. It’s also the fact this purchasing comes in the summer holidays too.”

According to the high school’s website Jennifer’s daughter Sophie needs to wear a plain white loose fitting shirt, a black blazer with the school logo on, a house tie to be worn with six visible stripes, either plain black full length tailored and waist high trousers, or a plain black knee length flared, pleated, or A line skirt, as well as plain black leather or leather-looking polished shoes.

The total cost of just her daily uniform would tally up to £88.97 – if both skirt and trousers are purchased and only one pack of twin shirts.

What’s more she will also need an indoor and outdoor PE kit consisting of:

  • Royal blue polo shirt with school logo or house colours – priced between £17.99 and £20.55
  • White socks – price not listed
  • High school hoodie – £21.99-£25.99
  • Royal blue shorts – £6.50
  • Royal blue socks – £5.50 for one pair
  • Tracksuit bottoms – price not listed
  • Football boots – price not listed

Trainers not listed but would be needed for indoor sport.

Jennifer’s daughter Sophie starts secondary school in September – but her uniform is costly
(Image: Instagram/Jennifer Gilmour)

Jennifer added that she runs a parenting group in Cheshire where parents said that Hull prices are cheap in comparison to their £1,000 spending on uniforms.

The mum and campaigner recently shared her frustration on Twitter where she gained a response from Labour MP Emma Hardy.

On Twitter she said: “£242 on school uniform for three children and I’m still yet to buy two ‘dress skirts’, a pack of shirts and a school jumper.

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“Yes it’s for three children but still, after the summer holidays. @EmmaHardyMP #BacktoSchool2021.”

Emma Hardy responded and said: “It’s still too expensive. There is Re:Uniform to help locally.”

Jennifer said she is now donating any old uniforms which no longer fit her children to the bank down at Sainsbury’s for other pupils to have.

Jennifer added: “There should be more flexibility when it comes to uniforms and parents should be able to do things with them from home.

“Like I said we can wear our own blazers etc. I can pass blazers bought from the shop down through my kids but it is still ridiculous.”

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