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Schools: Uniforms

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to address school uniform shop monopolies, including shops run by (a) schools and (b) external enterprises. (155171)

The Office of Fair Trading have indicated that schools or retailers that have expensive exclusive contracts with suppliers may, in principle, be subject to enforcement action under Chapter 1 of the Competition Act 1998, on the grounds that these exclusive agreements restrict competition between retailers to supply uniform.

The Schools Admissions Code will also tackle covert selection methods by ensuring that other school policies (such as the uniform policy) do not discourage parents from applying to the school of their choice.

The Department plans to publish updated guidance on school uniforms and related policies next month. This guidance will provide schools with advice on how to develop fair and reasonable school uniform policies.