The basic school uniform including a pair of school shoes and trainers costs around £160 per child on average—£180 with a blazer—if your school doesn't require school logos (giving you flexibility on where to shop). Prices range significantly depending on your choice of retailer and the age of your child, with parents paying anywhere from £70 to £250 or more to dress their child for school. Read below to learn more about average prices for school uniform by age and gender. Those needing to buy uniform emblazoned with the school logo will most certainly pay even more.
Average Cost of School Uniform Items
Excluding shoes, we found the average cost of a basic list of school clothing is £96 per child. Add in a pair of PE trainers and school shoes, and the average uniform cost jumps up to £162 per child. Since a basic, plain blazer averages £18, we estimate the total uniform cost including trainers, school shoes and a blazer would be £180.
As your child grows, so do the costs of a school uniform. Between age 4 and 11, expect costs of basic clothing to rise by over 40%, as you can see in the following chart. You'll also notice that the uniform for a girl will cost a bit more than for a boy. While many items are sold unisex (e.g., shirts), you'll find skirts tend to cost a few pounds more than boys' shorts. And if your daughter wears a pinafore, expect to add a few more pounds to the uniform cost estimate.
We determined these costs by gathering pricing information from five school uniform retailers that offer both online and in-store shopping—Asda, Sainsbury’s, M&S, John Lewis and Next, plus Start Rite, Geox and Clarks for shoes—in order to calculate average basic uniform costs across ages 4, 7 and 11 for both boys and girls for the following list of items:
Back-to-School Clothing & Shoes List
- 2 Shorts/Skirts
- 2 Trousers
- 4 Short Sleeve Shirts
- 4 Long Sleeve Shirts
- 2 Jumpers
- 5 Grey Socks/Tights
- 5 White Sport Socks
- 2 PE Shorts
- 3 PE Polo Shirts
- 1 PE Sweatshirt
- 1 Black Leather School Shoes
- 1 Trainers
- 1 Blazer (optional)
Those on a tight budget can pay around 50% less by shopping at retailers offering lower-priced back-to-school products, such as Tu clothing at Sainsbury's and George at ASDA.
Average Cost of School Shoes
Parents can pay anywhere from £12 to £65 for leather school shoes and £8 to £65 for trainers for each child. In addition to the five large retailers mentioned above, three other popular destinations for school shoes are Geox, Clarks and Start Rite. We gathered low and high pricing information for leather school shoes and PE trainers from these 8 brands, in order to determine an average price of £30.70 for PE trainers and £36.40 for leather school shoes.
Average Cost of a School Blazer
Not every child is required to wear a blazer to school. If your child needs one, expect to pay £18 on average for a plain blazer.
Average Cost of School Uniform, Item by Item
In the following table we've broken down the average cost of each item of clothing, for ages 4, 7 and 11.
Cost per Individual Item
|4 Yrs||7 Yrs||11 Yrs||4 Yrs||7 Yrs||11 Yrs|
|Short Sleeve Shirt||£2.8||£3.5||£4.2||£2.8||£3.5||£4.2|
|White Sport Socks||£0.9||£0.9||£1.0||£1.0||£1.0||£1.1|
|PE Polo Shirt||£2.3||£2.3||£2.7||£2.3||£2.3||£2.7|
|Black Leather School Shoes||£36.0||£36.0||£36.0||£36.0||£36.0||£36.0|
Below, we've tallied the pricing data according the shopping list mentioned above, with multiple pairs of shorts, shirts, socks, etc., to give you an idea of how much you'll spend in total on each line item, per child. If your child needs a blazer, remember to budget for another £20 or so, depending on where you shop.
Cost of the Basic Uniform Shopping List
|4 Yrs||7 Yrs||11 Yrs||4 Yrs||7 Yrs||11 Yrs|
|2 School Shorts/Skirts||£7||£9||£11||£11||£13||£14|
|2 School Trousers||£10||£12||£15||£8||£10||£12|
|4 Short Sleeve||£11||£14||£17||£11||£14||£17|
|4 Long Sleeve||£13||£15||£18||£13||£15||£18|
|5 Grey Socks/Tights||£4||£4||£5||£8||£8||£9|
|5 White Sport Socks||£4||£4||£5||£5||£5||£5|
|2 PE Shorts||£7||£8||£10||£7||£8||£10|
|3 PE Polo Shirt||£7||£7||£8||£7||£7||£8|
|1 Black Leather School Shoes||£36||£36||£36||£36||£36||£36|
While an individual shirt or pair of shorts might only cost a few pounds, the total bill for back-to-school clothes can take a significant chunk out of your household budget. You can read more about the pricing from each individual retailer in our article on Comparing the Cost of a School Uniform.
We researched the prices of items of clothing or footwear by price checking the retailer’s websites. Where different products were available, we took the product with the lowest price. The only exception to this is shoes, where we averaged the lowest and highest prices for leather velcro-strapped shoes for boys and leather mary janes for girls, where available. We figure that shoes are one area where parents don't always go for the absolute cheapest option.
When multipacks of clothing were offered (e.g., a pack of 2 shirts instead of just 1), we chose the multipack offer as that was the cheapest available. We standardized prices across retailers by dividing multipack prices by the number of items in the pack, thereby calculating a per-item cost. While clearly no one buys 1.5 packs of shirts (e.g., if, say, 3 shirts were desired), this method gives us a reasonable price. Those buying pinafores instead of skirts for their girls should budget an extra £1.50 - £10.50 per item, depending on retailer.