B1612 – School Uniform Governance Act 2020 (Second Reading)

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CatusStarbright
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B1612 – School Uniform Governance Act 2020 (Second Reading), Miss Maddie MP
School Uniform Governance Act 2020


A
BILL
TO

To provide guidance to schools in England relating to the cost of school uniforms

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Guidance
In the Education Act 1996, after section 551 insert—

551A Guidance about the costs of school uniforms: England
(1) The Secretary of State must issue guidance to the authorities of schools in England about the cost implication on parents and guardians of school uniform policies.
(a) the guidance will follow the principles set out in Schedule 41.
(2) In this section “costs implication of uniform policies” means any part of school uniform policies that the Secretary of State considers having an impact on the overall cost of purchasing a maintaining a school uniform for a child.
(3) The appropriate authority of a school must have regard to guidance issued when developing a school uniform policy.
(4) The minister may revise the guidance issued under this section.
(5) In this section "school” means—
(a) an Academy school;
(b) an alternative provision Academy;
(c) a maintained school as per section 437(8);
(d) a non-maintained special school as per section 337A;
(e) a pupil referral unit not established in a hospital.
(6) In this Act “appropriate authority” means—
(a) in relation to an Academy school, an alternative provision Academy;
(b) in relation to a non-maintained special school, the proprietor;
(b) in relation to a maintained school, the governing body;
(c) in relation to a pupil referral unit, the local authority.

2 Schedule
Add to the Education Act 1996, Schedule 41—

Schedule 41
Schedule 41 - Cost of Uniform Guidance

1 Use of school branding
(1) Schools may not specify for school logos to be worn on their uniform, unless;
(a) branding is in the form of patches or similar that can be added to a generic piece.
i. "generic" is to be interpreted as an unbranded item in line with uniform policies that can be easily modified to contain the school branding.
(b) All school branding will be free for any manufacturer or person to use in a product designed for school use by parents and pupils.
(c) miscellaneous exemptions are free from requiring branding.

2 Uniform and Kit Combinations
(1) Schools may not have more than one uniform per pupil;
(a) for the purposes of this bill a uniform for boys and a different uniform for girls would be counted as one uniform.
(b) minor adaptations are excluded from this requirement.
i. "minor adaptions" include but are not limited to a school-authorised move for pupils to wear smart shorts in the summer as an alternative to trousers or pupils choosing to wear tights instead of knee-high socks.
ii. adaptions may not be mandatory and may only take place when decided by the parents and pupil with permission from the school.
(2) Schools may not mandate more than one PE kit per pupil.
(a) school may have multiple optional PE kits and it is up to the parents and guardians whether their child uses multiple PE kits or one PE kit.
(b) miscellaneous additions are exempt from the one PE kit rule.

3 Miscellaneous Exemptions

(1) Miscellaneous exemptions are smaller items which whilst forming part of a uniform code are not considered important enough to be definitively mandated.
(a) miscellaneous exemptions include:
i. suitable footwear
ii. smart footwear for use most of the time
iii. hair bands and bobbles
iv. tights beyond mandating the colour
v. socks beyond mandating the length and colour
vi. swimming kit
vii. sporting accessories.
viii. rucksacks, school bags and cases/carriers for tablets and laptops.
ix. complementary wear, e.g. a tracksuit for use during transit to PE lessons.
x. service items, e.g. a towel for use after swimming
(b) the minister shall publish a national list of miscellaneous exemptions to be reviewed annually before the start of August
(c) the minister may add or remove items from the list.

3 Purchasing of Uniform
(1) Schools may not specify a supplier(s) the uniform must be purchased from
(a) nothing may be included as part of a uniform that the relevant authority deems niche enough that only one supplier is reasonably expected to sell it.


3 Extent, commencement and short title
(1) This Act extends to the United Kingdom
(2) This Act comes into force immediately
(3) This Act may be cited as the School Uniform Act 2020

Notes
School uniforms are becoming expensive and it is estimated the cost of one school uniform can reach nearly £350 to buy [1]. Schools often specify their logo is worn on all pieces and parents use a certain supplier the school signed a deal with. This bill aims to help parents by imposing the need to think about the cost of any uniform policy.

The second effect of the bill is to lower the cost of uniforms. Uniform can be bought more cheaply in a supermarket [1]. By removing the need for a school logo, parents are now able to buy the cheaper uniform equivalents in a supermarket.

References

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-49090913

Changes for Second Reading:

(1) Added in the ability for schools to have logos on clothing through the use of patches and similar.
(2) Related to the above, restricts school using branding in a trademark sense and giving exclusivity to a single supplier or prevent parents embroiling on the relevant branding themselves etc...
(3) Restrict schools to one uniform with the exception of minor adaptions if desired by the pupil and allowed by the school. E.g. wearing smart shorts in the summer. Minor adaptions are voluntary and must not be mandatory.
(4) Slight changes to the wording so a girls' uniform and a boys' uniform is counted as one uniform.
(5) On PE kits, schools may have multiple and parents can choose if they buy their child multiple. Some parents may not want to buy multiple PE kits and they could be happy for their child to play everything in the same kit. There are miscellaneous exceptions to this to stop silly cases arising.
(6) The biggest change - introducing the concept of miscellaneous exemptions. These are items that schools can require pupils have, e.g. smart footwear, suitable footwear for the relevant sport, a swimming kit, black tights, hair bobbles etc... Schools cannot mandate a specific item not for them to be branded. The list will be reviewed every year before August to give parents time to prepare.
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Theloniouss
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I'm a little unclear on miscellaneous items, specifically "Schools cannot mandate a specific item not for them to be branded."
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
I'm a little unclear on miscellaneous items, specifically "Schools cannot mandate a specific item not for them to be branded."
Typo. It should be "schools can mandate a specific item, not for them to be branded." I.e. schools can specify white-sole trainers and not white soled Nike trainers with the school branding.
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SnowMiku
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First reading was an Aye. Second reading is also an Aye.
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1st superstar
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Aye
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Saracen's Fez
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I'm very pleased to see my suggestions taken on board and I think it's a more robust piece of legislation now. I'll gladly support this going forward.
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Iñigo de Loyola
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Again, Aye.
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El Salvador
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I think aye
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04MR17
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Abstain, this bill now feels really rather overengineered when a simple removal of the offending clause would have solved the problems with the first reading.

I'm particularly cautious about footwear, which is a large element of school uniform policies in my experience
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Gundabad(good)
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Aye.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Typo. It should be "schools can mandate a specific item, not for them to be branded." I.e. schools can specify white-sole trainers and not white soled Nike trainers with the school branding.
I support this reading then.
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Napp
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I'm inclined to follow 04MR17's opinion here. Abstain here.
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JMR2020.
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Aye here.
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, i fundamentally do not believe that this bill has changed sufficiently to warrant my support with regards to the principal of the state dictating uniform policy over schools nor brand value and as such still plan to vote against this bill.
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AditOTAKU666
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Aye from me.
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Andrew97
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Andrew97
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