Sir Harry Smith – Cost of School Uniforms.

SHS logo-APlease see correspondence below (09th February 2016) as received from BC…Is there any other parents/grandparents who have similar issues, if so I can put you in contact with BC.


Hi Roy,
I just thought you might be interested in the following.
My grandson needed a new school sweatshirt as the ones he has have shrunk. I thought I would help mum and dad out by buying him a couple. I was astonished to find out there are only two retailers where the school sweat shirts can be purchased as they have to have the school logo on them. I thought that’s a bit restrictive but I went ahead and started to place my order until I saw the price.

For two school sweatshirts with the school logo £24 in his size I thought that was expensive in comparison to what I’ve seen in supermarkets, I have often commented to my wife that I wish uniforms at that price were available to our children.
So I did a little research both companies mentioned sell the same item for the same price so being able to shop around wasn’t an option.

I then checked the other retailers in the area supermarkets big stores etc. I was amazed at the price variations . Below is a short list of just some price comparisons.
Sir Harry smith with logo     £  24.00
John Lewis                                £  16.00
Next.                                           £  18.00
Matalan.                                    £  10.00
M&S                                            £  16.00
Tesco.                                         £   10.00
Asda                                            £    8.00

I won’t bore you with any more but the list is countless , the above prices are for two sweat shirts of the same colour and size. The only difference is that sir Harry smith sweat shirts have the school logo . Tesco do have uniforms with logo but sir Harry smith isn’t listed even so a Tesco sweat shirt with logo is only one pound fifty dearer. So I dug a little deeper polo shirts are just as expensive in fact in some cases you can get five for less than the cost of one from the school suppliers.

I have contacted the school they have so far just informed me that I have two retailers I can buy from and that my grandson has to have the school logo on his tops.
I asked do they get any remuneration from the companies I am forced to buy from no reply as yet.

I asked for the price of sweat shirt with and without the logo no reply as yet.

I contacted both suppliers and asked the same questions only one would give me any information and that was we supply good quality uniform at a fair price. They also stated they can’t compete with the larger retailers as they cant buy in such large quantities.

Since doing a little more research I found the following .

The CMA has cautioned schools about this practice because of the monopoly laws etc look it up it’s interesting. Another interesting document is the department of educations guide lines on school uniforms. Basically what Sir Harry smith school is doing with this policy , in my opinion is not really following government guide lines on uniform read it as I did and come to your own conclusion.

As for the CMA I have sent them the details of what I think might be against competition law and am waiting for a reply as you know with gov departments that could take some time..To sum up parents and grandparents are being forced to buy school uniform because of the logo rule with only two suppliers both of which charge the same.

The most expensive retailers of school uniform available in the area are still six pounds cheaper all be it without a logo. And the most affordable sixteen pounds cheaper.

I don’t know as neither the school or the companies will tell me if the school has any kick backs either financial or in kind equipment stationary text books etc. But seeing as I’m forced to pay into this scheme I think I have aright to know.

So that’s about it Roy I just thought it might be of interest to you as a local campaigner ,I think that the parents who are less well off are being forced into an impossible situation where they have to purchase expensive school uniform just for a logo. The school did inform me that if I was having difficulty in purchasing uniform because of cost , that there are grants available, my feelings are that if the school had a sensible fair policy on uniforms as per department guidelines and didn’t have to have these expensive logos parents wouldn’t need grants saving embarrassment and cost to the tax payer.

Why not have sew on badges that would reduce costs greatly or even better pin on badges or iron on badges. I could go on, I would be interested in your views on this subject.
I find your blog very interesting and informative keep up the good work.
B C.

SHS Uniform Costings Uniform Policy September 2013
Uniform Policy September 2013

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