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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Parents asked for views on school uniforms

06 October 2023

The Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, has today launched a survey asking parents and carers for their views on the cost of branded and compulsory school uniform items. 

The survey – which closes at 5pm on Friday 20 October – is open to parents and carers of current Government of Jersey school pupils, and parents and carers of pupils who will join a Government of Jersey school next year. 

 The survey asks parents and carers about how much they pay, whether they are satisfied with the quality and cost of school uniform, and which items they think should be branded.

It follows a market study by the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA), which was commissioned by the Minister for Children and Education in 2022. The results of that study were released in April 2023. 

While the JCRA study found that there were benefits to having school uniform, it also identified two main factors driving up costs for parents and carers. 

Firstly, the study found, there are few providers of uniforms on-Island, and most of them supply uniforms on exclusive (rather than competitive) terms. 

Secondly, it found, some schools have a high proportion of branded and/or compulsory items: in some schools, branded items make up to 40% of the uniform. 

 The JCRA made several recommendations to try and balance the benefits of having school uniforms, against the desire to reduce costs for parents: 

  • The government should consider policy in other places, including the UK 
  • Schools should conduct regular reviews of all contracts and supply arrangements 
  • The JCRA should work with government to develop more specific guidance on the design and operation of competitive tenders for school uniforms 

Following the release of the study, the Minister for Children and Education committed to having further measures in place by September 2024. She also wrote to headteachers for their input into developing further guidance on school uniform. 

The survey launched today will enable parents and carers of current pupils to provide their views. 

 Once the survey closes, the results will help shape the school uniform policy, which will become effective from September 2024, in a phased approach. 

This policy will only be applicable for Government of Jersey schools. 

Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “Uniforms provide many benefits for schools and for pupils. They help establish a sense of school community and encourage pride in the members of that community. Uniforms also have safeguarding benefits: they allow staff to quickly identify members of the school. 

 “However, it is clear – from speaking with parents and carers – that even if they value having some kind of uniform, the sheer number of compulsory or branded items that they have to buy drives up costs and causes anxiety. This is true even for parents and carers whose children attend school with second-hand shops, or can access some support with the cost. 

“If, as I’ve committed, we are going to introduce clear guidance to support schools, and make sure that there is competitiveness in the market, I want to ensure that I have given all the people involved an opportunity to share their views. 

“I hope to hear from a range of parents and carers, and I look forward to ensuring these views shape the final guidance. I am committed to releasing this updated guidance before the end of the year, to come into effect in September 2024.” 

The survey is available online until 5pm on Friday 20 October: 

In English,

In Portuguese,

In Polish,

In Romanian.

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