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How we are ensuring costs of uniforms remain reasonable

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: School uniform, Universities

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Today our blog is looking at guidance on school uniforms and the Teaching Excellence Framework.

School Uniforms

Yesterday, Wednesday 4 September, Lord Tyrie, chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), wrote to the department about the cost of school uniforms, urging the government to introduce legislation requiring schools to allow parents to shop around rather than insisting on a single supplier.

The department yesterday published a response from the Secretary of State highlighting the guidance that is already in place urging schools to keep uniform costs as low as possible for parents. This story has been covered by the Times, the Telegraph and I News.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Our guidance states that uniform items should be easily available for parents to purchase and schools should keep compulsory branded items to a minimum. The guidance is clear that schools should avoid single-supplier contracts, but where schools do choose to enter into such contracts, they should ensure these are subject to a regular competitive tendering process to ensure value for parents.

The Government has announced its plan to put the school uniform guidance on a statutory footing and will do so when a suitable opportunity arises. This will send a clear signal that we expect schools to ensure uniform costs are reasonable. I am pleased that you agree that this will be a helpful step towards ensuring families receive value for money when purchasing school uniforms.

The full letter is available online here.

Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework

Today, Thursday 5 September, the Mail, I News, the Sun and the Telegraph all reported that prospective students wanting to know which university will set them up for a well-paid career should watch University Challenge rather than read the government’s Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) data. This followed research by the British Academy of Management.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) provides the best all-round assessment of the teaching and outcomes delivered by universities – it is not designed solely to look at earnings. It takes in to account a number of important factors, including drop-out rates, student satisfaction and graduate earnings to give prospective students the full picture of an institution.

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