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08 Dec 2021

Ferguson calls for cut to schools uniform costs

Ferguson calls for cut to schools uniform costs

Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson: "Uniforms and PE gear are costing parents hundreds of pounds per-child every year, this is unacceptable and must be addressed."

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, Ciara Ferguson, has called upon the Education Minister to put a cap on the cost of school uniform.

Ms Ferguson was speaking after her party tabled a motion at the Stormont Assembly requesting the Minister establish and Independent group to look at the growing costs for parents to kit their children out in school uniform and to provide guidance to schools on this issue.

Last August, a Parent Engagement Group survey showed that 94 per cent of the 1415 questioned said they were concerned about the cost of school uniforms.

The survey also showed that more than 70 per cent of families felt under financial pressure with 75 per cent of respondents saying that the added financial pressure of buying school uniforms for their children has impacted their health and wellbeing.

Ms Ferguson said: “Sinn Féin has brought forward a motion to the Assembly proposing action to cut and cap the cost of school uniforms.

“We are calling on the Education Minister to urgently establish an Independent Ministerial Advisory Group to introduce regulations to cap uniform costs and provide statutory guidance to schools.

“A recent poll of parents showed that 94 per cent were concerned about the rising costs of uniforms and PE gear, while 32 per cent said they get into debt to cover the costs.

“Uniforms and PE gear are costing parents hundreds of pounds per-child every year, this is unacceptable and must be addressed.

“With the cost of living rising, urgent action is needed to support families and I am calling on the Education Minister to legislate to ease the burden of school uniform costs.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work to ensure school uniforms are affordable for all families.”

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