Grandad David Brown says it is a “disgrace” how much parents have to pay out on school uniforms.
David, 71, hit out after seeing that a starter pack for his grandson’s new school clothes, including PE kit, amounts to £105.
Speaking to Leicestershire Live, David said: “I think it is outrageously expensive, I think parents are being held to ransom.
“You have to pay the money otherwise your kids get sent home for not having the right uniform. There’s no negotiating room or alternative options to help families with a tighter budget.
“My granddaughter has been there for three years and, this year, they have decided to bring out a blazer instead of the jumper as the main thing to wear, she won’t want to be left out and wants one of the new blazers.
“But the website says you still need to have a jumper in your bag at all times, so you can’t just buy one, you need to have both.
“The worst thing is that even the PE kit is branded and can only wear it if it has the school’s logo on it. Why? Why is that necessary?
“You can get cheaper clothing on the high street, especially sportswear. What’s so wrong with a cheap pair of shorts, a top, and socks? Why do they need to have the badge?
“I think it’s disgraceful that parents have to pay out so much. I’m going to have to help my daughter with the cost because her income is just slightly more than the cut-off point for support.”
A spokesman for the Leicestershire-based academy in question said: “The academy takes all it’s decisions with the best interests of it’s students in mind.
“Where there is not close control over branded items, children can feel under incredible peer pressure to wear the ‘right’ fashion brands, with all the potential negative consequences felt by those who cannot afford them.
“It is also (sadly) the case that some companies produce items marketed as school-wear that would not meet our expectations. Tight leggings, marketed as school trousers are just one example.
“Schools then spend huge amounts of time debating with children and families on whether their choice of clothing is acceptable or not.
“This is not productive and detracts from the priority of focusing on learning. The only way to ensure that there is not such an environment, is to insist that particular items are academy branded.
“Any family who needs support with the costs of uniform should contact the school, where we will be only too happy to help out.”
The academy is discussing David’s concerns with him, LeicestershireLive reports.