Industry News

Bill risks increasing uniform costs for parents, says Schoolwear Association


he Schoolwear Association is warning that a proposed Parliamentary Bill could result in a number of unintended consequences if not implemented correctly, as the committee is announced to scrutinise the legislation.

A survey by the association covering approximately 390,000 secondary school pupils has found that the actual average cost of school branded uniform and sportswear items is approximately £100 when a pupil starts school, but that the average annualised cost is only around £36 as specialist garments typically last well over a school year.

While the Schoolwear Association supports the aim of the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill, it has warned that if there are amendments to the current guidance, the Private Members’ Bill introduced by Mike Amesbury MP could actually increase costs for parents and lead to higher levels of bullying and inequality in schools. It also argues that ruling against sole supply arrangements could actually raise prices, reduce availability and eliminate local support for hardship cases. Matthew Easter, co-chair of the Schoolwear Association, said: “While we support efforts to place sensible uniform


ew protection and wellness products, writing instruments, eco-minded products and bags feature prominently

in Goldstar’s new 40-page Season Promo Essentials catalogue.

This comes as the company adapts to the new business needs of the COVID-19 era by focusing heavily on health, protection and wellness to keep businesses promoting themselves while also keeping the public safe.

The important range of Protection &

Wellness products includes four full colour pens with an anti-microbial additive (Simplicolour technology); four different masks, washable or single use only; one visor and three types of customisable hand sanitisers. An outstanding innovation is Pentection Plus. Goldstar has selected five top-selling stylus metal pens and brought them together as its Pentection Plus collection. Pentection Plus offers businesses the facility to choose free individual name engraving on the pens, to enable organisations to help their customers and staff to feel more secure in the workplace by ensuring that employees use or

| 10 | October 2020

guidance for schools on a statutory footing to improve consistency across all schools, the implementation of the Bill is critical to ensure that its unintended consequences do not mean that the many universally accepted benefits of uniform are lost from our schools. “An effective uniform acts as a leveller between pupils, removing the pressure on families to keep up with the latest fashions and brands, which are often much more expensive and less durably constructed than school branded school uniform. We have now categorically proved that the cost of school branded school uniform is far less than has been quoted from other sources historically and averages only £36 per year. “We are 100% in favour of strong competition, but when the ultimate benefits of uniform are only realised when everyone is wearing the same, we would argue that this should take place at the point the provider is selected rather than when the garments are sold. Sole supply arrangements receive a lot of attention but actually deliver great benefits for schools and parents. If these agreements are regularly reviewed by schools, they help to guarantee the best possible value for money to parents, ensure year-round availability and help to provide local support for those families most in need.

Goldstar releases new season catalogue

touch only pens with their name. This will allow employees to stop using each other’s pens inadvertently, which will stop the spread of germs in the workplace. Goldstar will also offer a small fee for the option to have Pentection Plus pens double sealed in a polybag for extra protection. Eight products are included to the Eco Minded range. Among them is the Bambowie Gift Set of a pen and pencil with bamboo barrels and coming in a sustainably produced box. There are also full-colour digitally printed pens (ColourJet technology), pencils, and notepads whose barrels and trims have been made partially from recycled plastic bottles, coffee materials and reclaimed wheat straw.

Pentection Plus is a new innovation from Goldstar

The new catalogue also features four types of bags (tote bags and foldaway bags) and two backpacks (cotton and polyester drawstring bags), which have been created using full Colourjet printers. Colin Loughran, general manager of Goldstar Europe, said: “In our striking new catalogue, we have completely adapted our strategy and product range with many innovations to assist businesses in returning to work safely as protecting ourselves, each other and the planet is essential.”

“Schoolwear specialists are mostly local businesses who are passionate about working in their communities and the vast majority have hardship schemes in place to provide support to those who need it. Without the guarantees that are offered by sole supply, they simply would not be able to support schools with affordability for those parents who genuinely struggle.”

The Schoolwear Association, established in 2006 to drive stronger standards in the uniform sector, surveyed a range of retailers from across the country that supply 11.9% of all state secondary schools in England – representing 409 schools and approximately 390,000 students.

As part of the survey, the purchase history of what was actually sold each year for the schools was also analysed and showed that, on average, the spend per pupil of compulsory items was only £36.24, demonstrating the benefits of buying better quality, longer lasting garments that don’t need to be replaced every year.

The basket cost is derived from the average cost for boys’ and girls’ compulsory school-specific uniform and sportswear – with an average of 6.1 garments being required for an average sized pupil starting secondary school.

Festival of Licensing to take place in October


he Festival of Licensing is a four-week, large-scale digital gathering that will aim to bring together the global licensing industry during October. The festival starts on October 6 in Europe, with week two taking place in Asia, week three in the Americas and week four culminating with the Licensing Leadership Summit.

The three-day European event will see hundreds of exhibitors from across the continent showcase their latest brands, covering every category from art to sports and animation to heritage. Attendees will be able to access exclusive pre-recorded and live content via on online platform, as well as view virtual booths and product launches, and attend meetings with exhibitors.

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