Hunter: Parents need action, not words on school uniform costs

education cara hunter School uniforms

SDLP Education Spokesperson Cara Hunter has said that parents need action, not words when it comes to school uniform costs.

Ms Hunter was speaking after a motion on affordable school uniforms in the Assembly on Tuesday.

She urged the Executive and Education Minister to introduce legislation to make uniforms accessible and affordable to all.

East Derry MLA Ms Hunter said:

“It was welcome to see the ridiculous costs of school uniforms getting attention in the Assembly today, but what parents who are struggling to pay for their child’s uniforms and PE kits really need is legislation to address these issues. While it’s important to highlight the problems families are experiencing, in reality what happened today was no more than warm words which will provide little comfort to those who need help now.

“There have been multiple reports of parents being forced into debt just to meet school uniform costs, with parents with more than one child facing a bill of hundreds every time the back to school period rolls around. In communities across the North we are seeing more and more school uniform recycling initiatives opening up with huge demand and that underscores the extent of this problem.

“With the cost of living crisis impacting everyone, the last thing many families can afford is to shell out for a branded sports kid or an expensive uniform. There was widespread support in the Assembly for this motion today, but the parties in the Executive have the power to do something about it. We need to see the Education Minister prioritising this issue and bringing in legislation that lowers costs and provides some much-needed relief to hard pressed families.”

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