With cheaper versions of school uniforms available for cash-strapped parents, for many, this the more desirable option when purchasing the new term attire.

The Schoolwear Association, whose members clothe three-quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, says compromising on school uniform is a false economy and a disservice to the nation’s children.

The Association acknowledges that sometimes purchasing school uniform can be a worry for parents, so it recently launched a campaign to make school uniform tax-free by way of school uniform vouchers.

If successful, it would mean that parents could budget for good quality, ethically sourced school uniform and it would save them money too.

The hope is that the scheme will work in a similar way to the childcare voucher scheme and the cycle to work scheme which are currently in effect throughout the UK.

If the campaign is successful, the vouchers will be able to be redeemed at all school uniform providers and the hope is that parents will then have the choice to buy better quality, ethically sourced uniform rather than very cheap alternatives if they wish.

The average child spends 10 hours per day in school uniform, so the Association recommends looking for quality and durability to survive the wear and tear of lessons, playtime and after-school activities throughout the school year. Well fitting, comfortable clothes made from good materials also contribute to children’s quality of life.

They also point out that buying from local independent retailers helps keep town centres alive and supports the local economy, maintaining British jobs.

The Schoolwear Association is a national voluntary organisation of over 200 school uniform specialists, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers who abide by a strict Code of Practice. Amongst other rules, their Code of Practice requires members to ensure that the garments they sell are produced in an ethical manner both in terms of employment and attitude to the environment.

Matthew Easter, Chairman of the Schoolwear Association said: “We understand that price is important for parents, but there are real benefits if you are willing to pay a little extra for a premium product and service. It’s good for the local economy, the community and your child.”

Matthew Easter added: “The great thing about this scheme is that if it’s successful, it will mean that parents will hopefully no longer have to resort to buying cheaper and often unethically sourced, lower quality school uniforms and could instead make massive tax savings and buy better quality, longer-lasting school uniforms for their children.”

The petition has already achieved over 1,000 signatures positioning itself firmly in the tiny 5% of government petitions that make it past the 1,000 mark!

The petition can be found and signed here: http://tinyurl.com/schoolwear

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk