Paying for school uniforms

Although state school education is free, the cost of school clothing can be expensive for many families, especially if certain items such as blazers and ties must be bought from a specific supplier.

The UK Government has introduced new rules for schools that come into force in September 2022 that will ensure that such branded items are kept to a minimum and that the total costs of uniforms and PE kits are affordable for all.

Each school should have its uniform policy published on their website.


Surrey County Council do not provide financial assistance for buying school uniform, but if you are on a low income, here are our suggestions to reduce the cost and to increase your funds:

  • Ask your child's school if they provide discretionary grants for school uniform
  • Many schools hold second-hand stock for sale, exchange or donation
  • You can buy many of the basic, non-branded items, such as shirts, trousers, skirts and shoes at low cost from supermarkets and high street chain stores
  • Use the online calculators on entitledto and Turn2Us to check if you are receiving all of the welfare benefits that you are eligible for
  • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also advise you on your entitlement to benefits, and may also be aware of local funding that could help towards costs
  • If you have a professional worker supporting you from a public or charitable sector organisation, they may be able to apply for a grant from Buttle UK on your behalf
  • If you are on certain benefits you can apply for an interest-free budgeting loan from the Government

For assistance with other types of costs, please see our advice page on Family Finances