Hundreds of children go to school in clothes that are dirty or do not fit – because school uniforms are too expensive.
That is the view of The Children’s Society, whose report shows Northants families spend an average of £251 a year for primary school pupils and £316 for a child at a state secondary. Parents are spending an estimated £26.4 million a year on school uniforms and accessories.
The Children’s Society said parents are forced to buy specific items of clothing and accessories from specialist shops, rather than using supermarkets.
Lily Caprani, director of policy and strategy for the charity, said: “They are digging ever deeper into their pockets to pay for book bags and blazers, when what they really want is for their children to receive a good education and a good start in life.
“It’s time for the Government to introduce legally binding rules to stop schools from making parents pay over the odds for items available only at specialist shops.”