My Lords, I put on record my thanks to my honourable friend the Member for Weaver Vale, Mike Amesbury, for introducing and skilfully piloting the Bill through the other place. I thank all noble Lords from across the House who gave it such strong support, regardless of their views on the merits of school uniform or on the level of parliamentary scrutiny of the draft statutory guidance. My thanks go to Ministers in the Department for Education, Nick Gibb and the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, for their support and assistance throughout the Bill’s passage, and to Ben Burgess of the Government Whips Office, who has been unfailingly helpful to this Private Member’s Bill novice. I also thank the Children’s Society, especially Hannah Small. It has worked hard for the Bill to become law. In doing so, it has been spurred on by the children and young people who sat on the society’s Children’s Commission on Poverty, and subsequently by the children and parents with whom they work. I pay tribute to them all.
It has been a privilege to sponsor the Bill through your Lordships’ House. Just the other day I received a report on school uniform costs from the Covid Realities research project. It quoted a lone mother:
“It’s been nothing but worry. I’m anxious and financially broke, paying £310 for school uniform. When I only receive £556 a month.”
I hope that, thanks to this modest Bill, low-income parents will no longer have to suffer such anxiety over the cost of uniforms. I hope too, therefore, that the Bill will be implemented as quickly as is reasonable.