With many British people struggling to cope with credit card charges and finding it impossible to make loan claims, it may be time for schools to look at the cost of their school uniforms. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has sent a letter to 29,500 secondary and primary schools across the nation asking them to look into their clothing policies. A survey of educational facilities revealed that 74 per cent of state schools have a restricted list of retailers that parents can buy certain uniform items from. This is resulting in some people being charged elevated prices, with one secondary school's sweatshirt costing £12 under this arrangement, when it could be sold for as little as £5 from a supermarket. If parents are able to freely shop around for their clothes, they could save between £5 and £10 for certain uniform items. Schools claim to use single suppliers to ensure consistency and high-quality, but the OFT suggested they could still achieve these goals by working with multiple retailers. "When families are able to shop around for school uniform items, it can drive competition and bring down prices for all," assistant director in the OFT's Goods and Consumer Group Susan Oxley said. Samantha Clarke Samantha is a former banking assistant and has over ten years experience in retail banking.
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