Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Autumn Statement should reduce VAT on school-specific or ‘badged’ uniform

Chairman of the Schoolwear Association, David Burgess, says the Chancellor should take the opportunity in the Autumn Statement to reduce VAT on school-specific or ‘badged’ uniform.

The Association, whose members clothe three quarters of the UK’s schoolchildren, brought an early day motion to address the issue back in 2008, claiming that a reduction in the rate to 5% could put more than £4 million back into the pockets of parents each year.

Currently, VAT is only exempt on uniform sizes deemed to be appropriate for children aged 13 years and younger.  With many children aged 11-13 years old currently larger or taller than the norm, the current arrangement ignores legitimate differences in the size or the height of children who may need to purchase sizes in the taxable range.

Another anomaly is that VAT has to be paid on the book bags and rucksacks that children need for school. We believe that if the bag has the school logo on it, then it is a school item and should not be subject to VAT.

Not only that, the rise in the age of compulsory education to 18 years means that families are now having to pay even more VAT.

David Burgess said: 

“We support the current trend for schools to move towards smarter, school-specific uniform.  Not only does this kind of dress increase a sense of pride and belonging for pupils, it also has direct benefits for improving behaviour and raising attainment.

“We believe that quality uniform is an investment worth making, we want it to be affordable for all and with the cost of living on the increase, it is more important than ever, that we do all we can to reduce costs for parents.”

Monday, 14 November 2016

A uniform response to bullying

Smart, school-specific school uniform is a powerful weapon in the fight against bullying says the Schoolwear Association.

As new statistics collated by Bullying UK reveal that 42% of children have reported taking time off school because of bullying, the Schoolwear Association, whose members clothe three quarters of British school children, is encouraging parents and schools to support the adoption of robust uniform policies.

“We recognise that bullying is complex and happens for a huge number of reasons,” says the Association’s Chairman, David Burgess, “but we think uniform can play an important role in tackling bullying in school.”

“Most obviously, uniform puts students on a level playing field in terms of dress and reduces opportunities for bullying based on appearance.

“Outside of school, it enables students to be identified in the wider community – increasing both their security and their accountability outside of the school gates.”

He says there are wider benefits too:

“Smart, school specific uniform helps to instil pride and a greater sense of community amongst students in schools.

“Many head teachers have reported a direct link between the introduction of robust uniform policies and improvements in school-wide behaviour and attainment. 

“We believe every child deserves to experience those benefits.”