By Helena Canavan, More Than Food Project Manager, Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap has over the summer provided school uniform support to families across Manchester and Trafford, in the form of school uniform grants and preloved pop-up shops. We have supported over 150 children and we are aware of other local initiatives providing similar support. Dependent on funding we hope to continue and expand our school uniform support.
Being unable to afford the mandated clothing should never exclude a child from school or negatively impact their educational experience. However, our work in this area has drawn attention to the unmanageable cost of school uniforms for parents across Greater Manchester and highlighted examples of children missing school, being reprimanded by school or facing social exclusion because they are unable to wear the correct uniform.
We are now looking to campaign both local government and local schools to ensure they are addressing the cost of school uniforms and providing support to parents around school uniform costs when needed. Our work comes at the same time as new statutory guidance from the Department of Education requires that schools ensure the cost of school uniforms is reasonable and secures the best value for money. We want to ensure all schools across
Greater Manchester are aware of this update, are reasonably adjusting uniform costs and support to meet this requirement and are aware of and able to refer into any further uniform support for parents in their local area.
To find out more about how GMPA is responding to the cost-of-living crisis click here