Friday 19 November 2021
School Uniform Costs: Statutory Guidance
The Department for Education will today publish statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms. This guidance is issued under the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021. This Act requires the appropriate authorities of relevant schools to have regard to this guidance when developing and implementing their school’s uniform policy.
Through creating a common identity amongst all pupils, regardless of background, a school uniform can act as a social leveller, but to do so it must be affordable. No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a school of their choice.
This guidance will provide a framework to schools to help them keep the costs of uniform affordable for parents. The guidance sets out the key principles which schools should consider when setting their uniform policy and is based on views from members of both Houses, feedback from stakeholders and our own research. Throughout the guidance we encourage schools to take a holistic approach to the cost of school uniform, therefore the guidance covers a range of issues such as branded items, supply arrangements and second-hand uniform.
Schools will not be expected to make sudden, drastic, changes to their uniform policy. We want schools to implement changes in a timely and considered manner to ensure it works effectively but in doing so we would want to ensure that parents do not incur additional costs from sudden uniform changes. However, we would like parents to see the benefits of the guidance as soon as possible. The guidance provides more information to schools on how they can be compliant with the guidance and when any changes need to be made by.
I will place a copy of the cost of school uniform guidance in the Libraries of both Houses.
International Travel Update
Red List Review
The Government have conducted a further review of the red list under our new and simplified system of international travel.
Following this review, it continues to be the case that no countries and territories are on the red list. We will keep the red list in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health, and we are prepared to add countries and territories if needed as the UK’s first line of defence if the situation changes.
Expansion of the inbound vaccination policy
From 4 am on Monday 22 November, the Government will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing (WHO EUL) at the border. As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our existing list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting more fully vaccinated passengers. The WHO emergency use listing process includes a review of quality, safety and efficacy data performed by WHO experts, and many countries such as the United States, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland are already recognising the WHO emergency use listings vaccines.
Alongside expanding the list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, we will also expand our inbound vaccination policy to include proof of vaccine certification from the following 15 countries and territories:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Our inbound vaccination policy now covers over 150 countries and territories.
From 4 am on Monday 22 November, the Government will also be simplifying travel rules for all under-18s coming to England from a non-red list country or territory, who will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border, regardless of their individual vaccination status. This means they will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival and will only be required to take a lateral flow test post-arrival, with a free confirmatory PCR test if they test positive.
Inbound vaccination policy: US residency requirements and state certification solutions
From 4 am on Monday 22 November, the Government will remove the requirement for people to provide proof of US residency when proving their fully vaccinated status with a US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) card. We will accept the US CDC card or one of the below US state-issued certification solutions as proof of full vaccination:
California digital covid-19 vaccine record
New York State Excelsior Pass Plus
Washington State WA Verify
We will consider additional US state led certification solutions in the future.
Booster vaccinations in the NHS covid pass
Finally, travellers who have had a booster or a third dose will be able to demonstrate their vaccine status through the NHS covid pass from today. This addition will enable those who have had their booster or third dose to travel to countries such as Israel, Croatia and Austria who have already introduced a time limit for the covid-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine free travel.
While public health is a devolved matter, the Government work closely with the devolved Administrations on any changes to international travel and aims to ensure a whole UK approach.