A Renfrewshire MSP is urging residents to take part in a consultation from the Scottish Government to create national guidance on the issue of school uniforms.

The Scottish Government has committed to introduce statutory guidance in Scotland which aims to address equalities issues around uniform policy and reduce the cost of school uniform, as this can be a significant barrier to participation in learning.

The consultation will help shape guidance to build on the support that the previous increase of the clothing grant provided, to reduce costs for families whilst ensuring pupils can go to school feeling comfortable and ready to learn.

This consultation seeks views on:

  • what should be included within the scope of the guidance
  • the role that school uniform plays within the ethos, culture and day to day school life
  • the considerations available to schools and education authorities in reducing school uniform costs
  • the draft principles which are intended to be incorporated as part of national school uniform policy

Natalie Don, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, said: “If you’re a pupil, parent or carer, the Scottish Government wants to hear your views on the school uniform.”

“A key aim of the guidance will be to reduce costs for families, while ensuring pupils can go to school feeling comfortable and ready to learn.

“School uniform can promote a sense of identity, belonging and connectedness to school. However, the cost can be a significant burden for families, although there is no legal requirement to wear uniform.

“Although the Scottish government has increased the school clothing grant to help families who need it most, they intend to go further by bringing forward national guidance aimed at reducing uniform costs. This could mean increasing the use of generic items of uniform.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest to have their say on how this guidance should look. It is essential that the views of children and young people are heard as part of this consultation.”

The level of school clothing grant increased to at least £120 for primary school pupils and £150 for secondary school pupils from the start of the new school year in 2021.

The consultation runs until 14th October 2022 and can be found at:  https://bit.ly/schooluniformsconsultation.

Further information on school clothing grants in Renfrewshire is available at the Renfrewshire Council website at: https://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/3338/Free-school-meals-and-clothing-grants.