Concerns over rising cost of school uniforms

As schools across the area went back to work this week, a new shop in Maidenhead town centre has been giving out uniforms to families struggling to afford them. GRACE WITHERDEN spoke to the shop's founder about the rising cost of kitting out schoolchildren.

Grace Witherden


Rising costs of school uniform can lead to parents splashing out a small fortune in September — but not everyone can afford the cost.

A charity that supports families in poverty has hit out at the price of school uniforms in the borough.

The Kindness Shop, run by The Brett Foundation, has been giving out school uniforms including white shirts, skirts and trousers to dozens of families in desperate need.

Many schools in Maidenhead require parents to splash out on specialised clothing and sports kits before their child goes back to school.

Sue Brett, founder of The Brett Foundation, said: "The cost of school uniform can push an already over-stretched family over the edge.

"Uniforms have risen in price and have made it extremely difficult for parents in poverty. Most schools now have their own logo on jumpers, skirts or PE kits, and in some cases even the white polo shirts.

"Gone are the days when you could pop to a supermarket and pick up a new uniform cheaply.

"This isn't a borough wide problem though, this is a national problem. Sadly the number of families coming to charities such as The Brett Foundation and shops such as The Kindness Shop have increased hugely and are continuing to increase."

The Kindness Shop, based in King Street, has provided more than 50 families with uniform over the last two weeks.

Jo Bird, a volunteer at the shop, said: "We've had a lot of uniform donated to us by Sainsbury's, and school bags donated to us by Adi Stephen. Lots of people have donated old uniform items and shoes.

"Some families have to decide between paying their electric bill or the uniform."

When the Advertiser asked for people's opinion's online, one school defended uniforms.

Lowbrook Academy tweeted: "Uniforms break down social divides, install pride and belonging. Good schools facilitate inclusivity and affordability#ethos."

The shop is still accepting donations which can be dropped off between 10am and noon from Monday to Friday.

Visit for more information.

We picked two schools at random in Maidenhead to see how much the cost of uniform would set you back.

Senior School – for years seven to 11


School jumper embroidered with school badge – £17

Blazer with braiding, embroidered with school badge – £30

School tie – £4.99

Girl’s regulation skirt – £25

Or, trousers – can be purchased from anywhere – (£3.50 from Asda, for example)

White shirt – can be purchased from anywhere (pack of two £3.50 from Asda, for example)

PE kit (compulsory):

Polo shirt embroidered with school badge – £9.95

Shorts – £5.95

Rugby shirt – £18.99

Game socks – £3.99

Total cost: From £96.88-100.38


Primary School


V-neck – £13.50

Tank top (boys only) – £11.99

Cardigan (girls only) – £14.99

White shirt – can be purchased from anywhere, (pack of two £3.50 from Asda)

Black skirt – can be purchased from anywhere, (£3.50 from Asda)

Black trousers – can be purchased from anywhere, (£3 from Asda)


PE kit (compulsory):

Polo shirt – £7.99

Reflector tracksuit – £15.50

Reflector bottoms – £11.99

PE shorts – can be purchased from anywhere, £2.50 from Asda

Skort – can be purchased from anywhere, £3 from Asda

Total cost: From £69.97-73.97

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